A Novel Idea

A Novel Idea

Have you ever had a novel idea, literally? Penning a novel can be exhilarating, exasperating, full of angst and yet undeniably gratifying. Characters come to life that were once only a figment of your imagination. Their lives and thoughts pave the way toward an ending that leaves even the author happy, looking forward to what could happen next, or sad – wishing the story didn’t end a certain way.

I, as a writer, love to spin tales in a way I see unfolding in real life. I too could be sad about something happening, but because that’s the only possible approach, it needs to be written that way. (This is where I pull my hair out.) Then I get writer’s regret: “Will the audience hate me for this? Will they still love the storyline? Will they understand that sometimes the story writes itself? Will some chocolate cake help you to agree with me?”

I’ve asked myself many times, “What makes a great fiction writer?” The answer I always come up with is this: The story has to be believable. If it doesn’t exactly invoke a tea party, then why would I sit down with my best china? Facts have to add up. Sequences of events have to follow a real-life timeline to perfection. Can you relate to the characters? Love or hate them? In some way you live vicariously through them. Do you judge certain characters as the story unfolds? Of course you do! (Who doesn’t?) Now you’ve become emotionally vested, secretly hoping things turn out the way you want them to (never mind how the author intended). This spinning of a tale makes a great fiction writer. (Well deserving of your best china.)

Some of my favorite authors (fiction and non-fiction) over the years have captivated me in such a way, that I hated when the book ended. Growing up it was Laura Ingalls Wilder who penned her life in children’s books known as ‘Little House on the Prairie’. And later I loved Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Dan Brown’s books, ‘The DaVinci Code’ and ‘Angles and Demons’ had quite convincing characters and plots. And lately, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ trilogoy by Stieg Larsson, had me at hello.

As I focus on my own novel, The Astoria’s Cursed Catwalk, it’s clear to me this story is very poignant. I live vicariously through the main character, Olivia, and let her pretty much tell the tale. I hope you open the first pages, become emotional attached – as I have – to your favorite characters – Olivia, Dante, Rex, Justine – and live this story through them.

Now that is a tea party that includes tea cakes!