This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
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!