#BeingBuddy: What I want my first novel to be

Welcome to my first posting of Being Buddy. I’ll be sharing my journey here.

First up…Don’t Stop Believin!

But seriously…this is where I’ll be sharing my personal journeys as both a writer and as a person. What I’m going through both professionally and personally.

First up, I’d like to talk about what’s going on with my writing journey. As a lot of you know, I’m a fiction writer. As of this writing, all of my fiction works have been either short stories or flash fictions that I’ve shared online.

My main current writing goal is to develop and write my first novel. I’ve struggled a little bit with what exactly I’ve wanted my first novel to be. Many of you have heard me talk about various projects that I’ve been working on for the past few years, yet none have been published…or even totally completed.

Why has that happened, huh?

Well, my biggest realization lately has been that I’ve written quite a few things that probably wouldn’t appeal to me very much as a reader. For example, I had what I thought was a very good idea for a novella about zombies. I wrote a good chunk of it and was happy with what I wrote, but it wasn’t knocking me out the way I hoped it would.

Could it be because zombie stories are something that I can appreciate and even like, but I don’t normally love them?

Probably, huh?

The same thing happened to me with a vampire novel I was writing. What I wrote was good, but I didn’t love it. I’ll probably go back at some point and finish both of those books, but right now just doesn’t seem to be the right time for me to write them.

I want my first novel to be something that knocks me out. Something that I would go nuts over as a reader.

So, what will be right for me? How will I figure it out what I want it to be?

What I’ve been doing the last few days is coming up with a very, very loose outline that contains different story elements that I normally like. For example, I tend to love stories about underdog characters who are facing some sort of big challenge that most people would expect them to fail at, yet these characters have something special inside of them, something that will help them face the challenge and win.

So I put the above into my loose outline. I also included what I like about character romances and what I like about antagonists in stories. And so on with other things I like.

I also went the other way and wrote down things that I specifically don’t like in stories so that I’ll be sure to not include them in my own story. For example, I often get annoyed by supposedly clever or witty character names, like Justin Case. Names like that make me want to throw a book across the room.

Seeing this sort of thing in my outline will keep me in check. Coming up with a “clever” or “witty” character name would be easy and give me a good chuckle, but ultimately I would be mad at myself for having done it.

So, I wrote down all my likes and my dislikes and looked hard at them.

Then I started filling in the blanks a little bit. I’ve now got a few ideas for main characters. I’ve got some ideas of good challenges for them to face.

I’ve got some great ideas now for my first book. Most importantly, I’ve got some ideas that I’m very excited about. I know I’m going to write a book with the kinds of characters and plot that I enjoy the most.

I’m on my way and I’m happy about it.

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