I’ve mentioned in these stream of consciousness posts that I’m writing a novel. I suspect it is a little like giving birth. This project is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but one of the most fulfilling.
I changed careers in the middle of my life. I finished a career as a college professor after 27 years. I still felt young and strong and interested in the world around me. I wasn’t ready to quit work and retire to my rocking chair. I have been writing since I was a child. My first story was published in the Highlights for Children publication. Then, during my teaching career, I published many academic writings. Near the end of that career, I started writing for a financial brokerage and was writing for them, when I wasn’t at school, on 9/11. Writing about 9/11 gave me some serious writing chops. I was hired to write for the New York Times division, About.com. I was their Subject Matter Expert on finance and wrote, edited, and became the webmaster for their Business Finance website. I held that gig for five years. That gave way to writing for corporations, usually online learning materials for their executives. I also wrote many non-fiction articles for online and offline magazines.
So here I am. With my own blog where I started out writing well-researched non-fiction and I still write some of that. I took some writing classes through Udemy and read authors like Stephen King and Rayne Hall. I’ve studied writing extensively. I, then, started writing some of the fiction challenges here on WordPress which have helped me enormously and I decided to try my hand at my first novel. I knew the story I wanted to tell. I just had to figure out how to tell it, which is a daily process.
A good novel that you plan to hand to a publisher is about 80,000 words. That is long and hard and requires that you study all elements of writing fiction. I’m closing in on the first of three parts of this novel which is a psychological thriller. The first part, indeed all three parts, will be 26,000 words or thereabouts. It’s exhausting and very satisfying work. If you are interested in writing a novel, I’d recommend you read Stephen King’s book “On Writing” first.
I’d love to hear any comment you want to make or any advice! I’m a novice and still have a lot to learn!