Eight Reasons Why You Should Write a Novel and a Secret to Writing a Good Character

Matthew Robert Payne
 


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A famous novelist was asked after she had penned her fifth novel when she was going to get her books published? She looked up from her writing and told the friend that she had never considered them being published. So from one un-published author of three novels to you, here are my eight reasons why you should write a novel.

Number 1. It’s a blast.

It’s a blast. To work out a plot and work out subplots and all the characters’ is a blast. What is so good about writing your own novel is that it is yours and nothing can take away from that. This time as you read the progress of the characters on the keyboard as you type, it, is you that determines their fates.

Number 2 You get to play God.

Have you ever seemed like your life was controlled by someone else and you seem to think you were a puppet in God’s hands? I have, plenty of times and I gave up the struggle, committed my life to Jesus Christ and now we work together. But that is beside the point.

Writing characters puts you in the role of creator and as the author you have tremendous control on the outcome of your characters.

Number 3 Your characters are fun to meet.

You may think it strange me saying this, but when you begin to write, you might experience the same as I as your characters come to life before your eyes and start to speak and do things that you were not planning to write. This is when a character has began to take on a life of its own and from that point on, it’s either you co-operate or else you are in for some arguments.

Even villains can be fun to write no matter how evil they are. You’ll be surprised how close to your own flesh evil lurks and you’ll be shocked how your mind can turn dark as some bad character comes to the surface.

Number 4 Writing gives you a rush of adrenaline.

If you are anything like me, spending a night and finding 15 typed pages at the end of it and a chapter in a novel has appeared out of thin air, is a mighty rush. Sometimes on a weekend you might sit back and print out what you have written, read it and then you’re back to the keyboard typing out another chapter. The adrenaline of writing a novel can be addictive and writing articles can be just as much fun.

I love the God-like ability of creating something out of nothing. Sitting with an empty screen and filling the page up with type. There is nothing like creating and having others comment on what you have written.

Number 5 You can do things you might never do in person.

I have always wanted to write a play and to direct a play and so I wrote a novel with the lead character being a playright and I had him direct plays and his wife be the lead actress that starred in his plays. This was a dream of mine.

In another novel I had a character jump off the Sydney Harbour Bridge to kill herself and this was my chosen location for all the years I was suicidal. Having one of my characters do it put a smile on my face as I shared in her joy.

You can take your characters to the nicest fine dining restaurants and give them fine wines and meals that cost hundreds of dollars. Your characters can live out your fantasies and can bring all that joy back to you.

Number 6 You can re-visit great things in your life.

The first time you made love could be a very precious event to you. You can bring your memory back in a scene in your novel that only your partner would recognize. You have always remembered that award ceremony when you won a race as a young child, you can put one of your characters on that stage and let the reader feel the pride well up within him or her.

Your marriage was a day you never want to forget, you can marry one of your characters and give them your memory, you like the way your partner in your teens used to hold your hand and kiss you in public, one of your characters can treat his lady like that.

As a writer I draw on many things in my real life to put in the fictional lives of my characters.

Number 7 You can create fiction the way you’d love to read it.

So many times endings of books may disappoint you. Never again. When you write your novel you can write an ending that you love and you can make sure five out of five readers agree with you.

The writing process is a blast and you will really like it. You can read book after book on how to write, but the best advice I can give you is to go and write your book and then come back and read a book on how to write.

Just remember all your characters have to be human and so you’ll have to draw on people you know or do research and you’ll have to have topics that you know to write about, but after that it’s your hands that will hit the keyboard and make the characters come to life.

Number 8 You’ll have a conversation starter.

One thing that drops jaws I have found in casual conversation is when I tell a person that I have written three novels and two screenplays. It must only be about one in five hundred people or maybe more that have written a novel. In all my time as a writer, and that’s who’ll you’ll be, a writer, I have only met one other person who has written a novel.

It’s rare!

Writing and finishing your first novel will make you rare, different and interesting. Of course these are already your qualities but now your children and people you love will have a bit of you on paper when you pass on.

So go on and write that novel.

The secret of writing a good character

You may read a lot on how to write a good character. The biggest tip I ever heard, the secret that I found was that you should give your character a past. When you decide on a 19 year old girl with dark hair to be your lead character’ spend a week or so trying to work out key things that happened in her life that made her into who she is now.

At 6 The boy she liked kissed her best friend
At 8 Her father died
At 10 A lesser man became her father
At 12 Her favourite dog died and her mother said no more pets
At 13 Her best friend got a horse but she was not allowed to have a horse and had to sit all day and watch her friend ride hers.

That took me a few minutes to type, but already we have a young girl that is used to people she loves being taken away, the boy she loved, her father and her dog. And she seems not to get what she wants. A new dog, a horse and a step-father not as good as her father. The time you spend with all of your characters giving them a past before your story, is invaluable to writing a good character and you should not have to plow through ten books on how to write good novels to find this secret out. Take the time to do this and your characters will be well rounded.

May God bless you.

Therefore go and write!

Matthew shares his faith on the streets of Sydney and gives people personal messages off God at his web-site http://www.personal-prophecies-free.net Feel free to email him and give feedback or ask him to pray for you.

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