Okay, so we've gotten today's competition going, now it's back to business and Writers' Tuesday. I would like to introduce to you the first weekly column by our secret Wannabe Chick Lit Author – Emily Tootsweet. You can read more about Emily here, follow her on twitter or read her blog.
I do hope you enjoy, and please feel free to leave any comments – I'm sure Emily would love to read them!
Confessions of a Wannabe Chick Lit Author by Emily Tootsweet.
It All Starts Somewhere
Welcome to my first column here on Novelicious! I just want to say a quick thank you to Kirsty for giving me this opportunity to bore you all senseless with my weekly moaning about how tough it is to write a novel, find a literary agent, find a publisher and become a best-selling chick-lit author overnight. Nah, I hope I don’t bore you. I will try to keep you amused with the details of my journey into the scary writing world.
So. It all starts somewhere…
I started writing chick lit novels way back in 2005. It was after a trip into town to buy a book and I couldn’t find one I wanted to read, none seemed to catch my eye – which is weird as I love buying books! Anyway, I walked out of WH Smiths empty handed and disappointed, then it suddenly hit me – I SHOULD WRITE MY OWN NOVEL! I couldn’t wait to get home to start writing, the buzz was amazing. The journey home took forever but when I did eventually get in, I sat down and went through the ideas that had been revolving around my head. I didn’t have a computer back then and the thought of writing a 100,000 word novel by hand gave me heebie-jeebies! I dusted off my dad’s old palm top and started typing – which I have to say was very difficult and I don‘t recommend using one. After about 150 words, I completely dried up. I couldn’t write anymore – for some strange reason I was plagued by the dreaded writer’s block 150 words into my first ever novel! I thought that was it. I gave up – I deleted the words. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it.
Then I read ‘Can you keep a secret?’ by Sophie Kinsella and something clicked inside. I suddenly knew where I wanted my story to go and I started typing again on that dreaded palmtop. I kept typing. I typed some more and before I knew it I was sitting on 10,000 words of my first novel. It was then, I realised, I should get a computer because I *was* actually serious about writing a novel.
I often think of how I started writing – how I had never thought of writing a novel before and to this day I still don’t know why I came up with the idea. I’m just glad that I did as it’s set me on course for the most exciting/nerve-wracking/hard working time of my life.
Plus I have the “joys” of worrying about writer’s bottom, writer’s block (again) and multiple rejections from agents! But more about them in later columns.
When I started writing I had no idea how complicated it was. I thought all I needed was a fairly straight forward plot – girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy not too fussed, big traumatic event, boy likes girl, boy & girl end up happily ever after. But not so. You need to think about sub-plots, characters, themes, messages, emotion, character connection and lots more. It’s complicated. When you read a book, it never registers how hard it could be to write one! But if you have a lot of determination you can get there.
And I have bags of determination!
I have 6 novels at various stages of ‘undress’ shall we say. I would like to say that my first novel is finished (as I have subbed it to agents before!) but I’m not too sure! I’ve left that one to ‘settle’ for now (letting a book ‘settle’ is the technical term I use for being too lazy to fiddle with, I mean EDIT, it again!) The others are either half way through first drafts or just ideas floating about my addled brain. I’m not published yet. Nor do I have an agent. I hope to wow you with that news in future columns. But before then, I will use this column to confess what it’s really like being a wannabe Chick lit author!