fiction | writing

Writing course update. And a question for you.

write your novel


It’s been a month now since I started the 6 month ‘Write you Novel’ course with The Australian Writers’ Centre. I’m workshopping the manuscript I completed back in August 2013 and have been working on editing since.

Writing a novel is something I’m sure many people contemplate, after all don’t they say ‘everybody has a book in them’.

That is true. Everyone does have a story to tell, but not everyone can sit down and write a book.

It’s hard work.

Not hard in the physical sense of course, but mentally challenging type hard.

It’s time consuming. It’s frustrating, when things don’t go to plan. It gets the adrenaline pumping when the words flow. It’s the cause of so many emotions, and for me it’s something I want to do. And for all the bad times; the times where the words congeal, and don’t make sense, the times where I feel like deleting the file and throwing my laptop into the pool, it’s something I love doing.

Crazy huh?

Anyway, back to the course.

It’s going really well. Over the past month, from simply workshopping others’ novels I’ve learned so much. Light bulbs for my own story structure have gone off, ideas have blossomed and it feels as though the fog has lifted in my head and I’m able to see the purpose of my story once more.

After hitting rock bottom due to a particularly tough critique, where I almost felt disheartened enough to consider giving up completely, this is such a relief for me. It has brought the enjoyment back to my writing. I’m excited to once again by my characters plight and the story they need to tell. Which brings me to the whole point of this blog post, so I hope you’re still with me!

My story revolves around Jess who is trying to find herself. Like many of us, she feels she is destined for something that has never eventuated. She feels lost and the need to search for more. More from life and more from love.

Along the way she does some pretty silly things. She makes decisions that she will not be proud of and choices that anyone with a clear head would see are morally wrong. But they are choices that do make her stronger and by the end of the novel she has grown and changed – for the better.

My question is: would you feel empathy for her even though some of her choices are controversial and morally wrong. In particular her choice to fall for a married man.

The reason I ask is that a few of my fellow course mates have suggested they find it hard to like Jess once she faces this plot point. And I get that. Many are unforgiving when it comes to infidelity, which of course they should be. Emotions are involved, deceit, deception, lies. It’s not nice. But it is an important part of the story for both of my main characters.

So do you think you could still be interested in her story?

Obviously it comes down to how effective I am at telling the story and making Jess likable. Making the reader understand her struggles and feel for her. It’s a hard task.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your opinion.