Resources – completing a novel

Discipline and focus are key elements to finishing a book.  It may be rife with errors and boring, but at least there is the satisfaction of completing it.   It is a feeling of satisfaction you will never get from starting and putting various ‘ideas’ aside to start another.

If you go through and edit the content you can fix many problems.  One of the main reasons it might be boring is the ‘show don’t tell’ rule. Check your had/did – all those past tense words to start.  Instead of a ‘back-story’ try to incorporate as much information in your present, not your past.  Sally screamed her continuous anger –  or a long paragraph on her previous temper tantrums.  Either way the reader understands Sally has a bad temper (show her progression to ‘had’ – don’t just say she changes.)

Flashbacks are common today in stories. I’m still out on the verdict.  I don’t really like flashbacks  in books or a movie but I might be in a minority as it seems to be selling.  I am a stubborn reader and movie watcher.  In the 70’s I noticed many movies where there were no happy endings.  Some had downright depressing endings with characters that against everything they experienced or learned became horrible, greedy, mean characters. Some people believe this is ‘reality’.  My experience is very much ‘life is what you make it.’. There was a period in time where I stopped watching shows except comedies or happy ending stories. I know what I like and make no apologies.


A real, true story of determination and success. Hidalgo.

I recently watched Hidalgo yet again. What is so inspiring, amazing – it is a fiction version of reality.  Hidalgo (a horse) and his owner Frank T. Hopkins actually overcame what seemed insurmountable odds.  It is a fact and it doesn’t have a sad ending. Yet it is reality.  Frank has flaws but in the end they don’t consume him.  Don’t give up.

Write from your own personal angle and it’s much easier than trying to follow the fads of the day.  If you don’t believe there is evilness inside every person and you believe there are real heroes with goodness inside, write what you believe.  It’s difficult to write going against what you believe and this might cause you to never complete a story.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s popular today or not.  It may even become the ‘fad’ of tomorrow.

To summon those sad feelings – I have discovered there is more than enough grief and unhappiness in every day living. I am also fortunate enough to see goodness and joy.  I don’t need sadness to consume or occupy my mind completely.

Combining things I love – Lake Louise, Alberta (by Malibu Dreams Photography) with my favourite Tim Horton’s Coffee.


As a writer of completed novels I haven’t written fads and I have enjoyed completing stories.  These stories give me satisfaction on a task finished.  I never care what is popular so much as what I love to write.

2 thoughts on “Resources – completing a novel

  1. Popularity breeds contempt 🙂 – jokes Mary. Seriously speaking I need to hone my discipline and focus skills more than anything. Life has a way of distracting me and I have a way of allowing my to-do lists to pile up. And then I think – well perhaps there is a few things I need to digest before embarking on my next book or venture.

  2. Yes – but to get a first story published by a publishing company requires – popularity and what sells I think. If you self-publish there is better options and you can do as you please.
    I often feel the same way. Research has a habit of really taking over. (Life distracting me). When I see something such as – we are repeating the same mistakes over and over in my research I get so excited I think I can solve world problems (well – sort of) which requires yet more researching. Yes, we must follow our angels where they guide us, I agree. They never seem to lead me astray. 🙂

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