If You Enjoy Crossword Puzzles . . . You Should Write a Novel

I’ve been working diligently on a second novel with the goal of publication in 2018. That would be a year and a half to generate a second book. Or, half the time it took to finish my debut novel, The Intersect. It’s a relief to think I might have learned a few things along the way. So, in the spirit of being open, let me share a few insights.

The Learn

  1. In the words of Dorothy Parker, “Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.” In following her advice, I’ve discovered my hip flexors, sacroiliac, and glute muscles. Yow!
  2. Writing and speaking can be done in the same voice but not at the same time. Too much talking, and I can’t write. And after hours of writing, I’m unable to utter an intelligent sentence.
  3. If I don’t shed a tear when I’m working on an emotional scene, there’s something wrong. This should not be confused with the tears that I shed when I can’t get a scene right.
  4. If you respect your characters, they speak on their own. Dialogue is easy. If you try to control them, they rebel and make you the fool.
  5. You need to believe in yourself as a writer before anyone else will. Then, you need to hire a terrific editor to teach you all that you’re doing wrong.
  6. Eating is a major component of the creative process. Any food will do. But try to stay away from items purchased at Costco. Large quantities can be polished off in short order.
  7. If you love crossword puzzles, you’d love writing a novel. Words connect scenes. Themes carry through. And everything that you put down on paper can have an alternate meaning.
  8. It’s truly satisfying when someone enjoys your work and writes a note. It’s even better when they go to Amazon and provide a review.
  9. The arc of creation matches the bell curve. At the start, there’s excitement as the story unfolds. At its peak, you’re certain it’s all working. Upon publication, you’re sure you’ve screwed the whole thing up.
  10. There’s a seed of truth about the author’s life in every novel. Just a seed. If it were all true, it would be called a memoir.

Last thought

I’m grateful to those who continue to read my blog. It’s my attempt to stay connected and to share a bit of myself. Thank you for continuing to welcome me into your life.

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  • Jennifer says:

    Loved #9 especially. Ha. I haven’t published my novel yet, but I feel like I have screwed everything up when I send out a sample for someone to read. : )

    • Brad Graber says:

      Hi Jennifer: Yup. Welcome to the club. You are a writer if you think you’ve screwed it up. But the trick is – to not give into that feeling. Just nod your head and say “hello” – and then continue on. Every time I make an editing decision – cut a paragraph – reorganize a chapter – I have the same feeling. And here’s a little secret. Self-doubt can follow you even as your novel is receiving accolades. So – continue forward. And let me know when you do publish that first novel. I want to buy it. All my best to you – Brad

  • Yvonne Chase says:

    #1 and #6 are hilarious.
    You have a great sense of humor.

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