Apr 18, 2009

Writing a Novel Will Change Your Life

by Cindy R. Williams

"Writing a novel will change your life." This was one of the the first things my writing coach told me. I had no idea what she was talking about. I had never written a novel so I really had no life experiences to help me understand how this could be.

Fast forward two years. I have been writing scenes and reading them to my class/critique group weekly, and I am down to my final chapter of the book. I still have to polish up two other chapters to foreshadow the ending, and do a few more segways as we used to call it when I worked in TV. I am so close. In going through my scenes, I have now discarded 30,000 plus words and the book is about 200,000 words. I have done tons of writing, tons of re-writing, tons of discarding, tons of following family members around the house running ideas by them and making them almost as crazy as I am.

I feel I have a better idea about how writing a novel will change your life, you turn into a lunatic. But somehow, I think I have just scratched the surface. It will take me another week to FINALLY type the long awaited words "The End." Hold the press. My family is crying "foul" and say I am writing too much, so it will now take me at least three more weeks. Then I will have my-now-not-so-patient family, which includes five opinionated children and a very logical husband, read through it. If it gets their nod of approval, then it goes to the lovely Kerri Blair for editing. I will also be pitching it to an agent at the LDStorymakers Conference at the end of April.

From what I hear, my next step is to get a stack of rejection letters, continue to send it out while I work on new projects, until it finds a home . . . or not. This is the time one changes from lunatic to Physcho Mother from Mars.

For those of you that have already faced the music, and the rejection letters that come one by one by one by one by one . . . what advice to you have to remain sane at this point of the process?


  1. Ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream.

  2. Cindy....love the post.
    I'm right there with you, nice to know we all go through the same things.
    I finished my book in November and my not so patient husband told me I couldn't do anything with it until January. I followed his direction and he had my full attention through the holidays.
    Good luck to you, and I'm interesting in seeing what suggestions you get.
    Good luck!

  3. Ice cream sounds great Sarah!

    Krista, thanks for sharing a bit of your experience with balancing time with writing and family. Writing is a talent, and we are to develop it, but I am learning that balancing is a huge part of this talent.

  4. My advice? Get to work on a new project. Let yourself cry when those rejections come. Then pick yourself up, send your ms back out, and get back to work on your new project. Falling in love with a new story is what helped to keep me sane.

  5. Love the post, Cindy! We're all behind you and in the trenches with you. Good luck!

  6. Way to go, Cindy!!! We are all very proud of you! Good luck with your pitch. We will all be waiting patiently to hear how well things turn out...hugs~

  7. Well, from the way you had me spellbound at the retreat last year telling about your characters and how you had my students hanging on your every word when you visited my class as a guest author, I think it will be sooner than you even imagine that your little baby will be in your hands. Fun post... forgot to mention you have a WEDDING next month in the midst of all of this. Yeah, it's better to just be BUSY!!! Love you!!


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