Hey all, just to let you know I am a college student who writes novels during his spare time, and I just want to write this post out about my experiences in writing novels and fiction.
My first experiences in writing fiction stemmed back during tenth grade in high school. During English class each of us was assigned to actually write a story. I basically pantsed out a short story about a guy named Nickels getting beaten in a factory by his boss. Upon peer reviewing, one of my classmates commented saying it was too sad. I accepted her criticisms and commentary, and I have to say this was one of the most breathtaking moments of my life.
By twelfth grade in high school I took a creative writing class, and I was tasked to again write a short story. I basically wrote about a soldier who tries to escape his country which persecutes people with red hair. All of it was done by pantsing. The story took over 20,000 words, and I have to say I was actually proud of it.
My passions for writing fiction during my spare time came into short bursts upon my entering university. I had always developed this mentality of “I want to get this done”, and I often dreamt of writing a full-length novel.
So around the Fall Semester I started to look up on YouTube and Google on how to write a novel. I tried to pants out a novel, but every time I did so there was a lot of thinking behind the screen, my idling on the keyboard, and my head was just literally empty not knowing what to write about. Pantsing out a novel obviously had merits of discovery, and I was very interested in how I could actually refine the process of novel writing. I started to create character charts for my characters, and then I started to pants out a story which was around 7,000 words. It was not bad, and I decided to edit the story out. Basically it was about a guy wooing a girl, but he either gets rejected or never gains her attention.
I then googled Randy Ingermanson’s snowflake method, but trying it out never worked out because I had trouble coming up with scenes.
I started to google Scott Sigler’s method in writing novels, and he gave advice in a video to first write a “bad” novel and then start writing the good one. So I started to deliberately pants out a very bad story about a robot mourning over a recycling machine. The story didn’t last long because I found myself lumping other works I had into this one. A word count of 74,000 words was written into the “bad” novel, but I honestly have to say it was a dumpster of ideas.
I started to look up the Ninja Writers Course on Google, and I found a comprehensive way on how to outline a novel using plot structure. I was able to come up with a three act structure, and I was able to draft out an outline. From that outline, I typed up a 38,000 unfinished manuscript before I stopped. This story was about a polar bear trying to kill off an old man who summons evil. The reason why I stopped was because the characters started to deviate away from the outline, and that was how I stopped the manuscript and declared the novel “dead”.
So now I am at a crossroads on what to do right now. Obviously this is quite an interesting experience. I would like to gather more knowledge on how to write a novel that’s better and quicker. I am aiming for 90,000 words, and I’d like to hear from you all about your experiences in writing fiction.