• Woodlands Writing Guild

Asunder: Overcoming Barriers To Writing Your Novel

Updated: Jan 31

If you wrote a page a day, how many pages would you have a year? I’ve said that so much. Okay, so you’re busy. If you wrote two sentences a day, you’d have an essay. Everybody has the time. Carve it out. Do it, then pat yourself on the back.

Life is about learning, loving and leaving a legacy. Most of us have the first two down, but what about the third one? Our friends, siblings, and children deserve something to hold on to. Yes, everyone has a story. Stop worrying about “I don’t know what to write.” Give me a break. Yes, you do.

Use the dynamic, almost magical connection God has given us between our finger tips and our frontal lobe. (That’s where we imagine and build our dreams.) Once the pencil is in your hand, the words will come. If you mess up, that’s why there are erasers, and always rewrite.

I’ve written several short stories, submitted them to lit magazines, usually rejected. One, though, won first place, another second, a third gained honorable mention. Yahoo for me, but more importantly, yahoo for you when you take the risk. Rejections are not that bad.

As it is, my first novel, a coming-of-age story set in 1950’s central Texas, is gathering dust inside my computer. I absolutely will take it out, and rewrite.

My published novel grew bigger and bigger as I wrote it. I realized about two-thirds of the way through that I had a trilogy. I learned from research that readers love trilogies and seeing familiar characters in books. Wow!

I also met with a number of critique groups, some helpful, others not so much. You have to choose which ones really help. If all you get from a group is negative feedback, find another group. Good critiquers give you the good and the “needs improvement.” Note I didn’t say “bad.”

On my journey to write my trilogy, I spent two years doing research while writing. The second book came much easier, but still, I had to do research. Fortunately, I love doing that. Even if you write Sci-Fi or Fantasy, you still must do research.

Some of the best research is reading other well-written works, not just your favorite story, but books or short stories that ring of literary talent. Make your first works as literary as possible. When you’re rich and famous, you can just write whatever. Study those writers that turn out book after book. Their last few books generally could be written by an eighth grader. I cannot emphasize enough the need to emulate style, not story, of great writers. Find the inspiration from great writers in your genre and outside your genre.

The best book on writing I’ve found is Oakley Hall’s "The Art and Craft of Novel Writing." Amazing.

So you know, I edited as I went on this piece and finished in fifteen minutes. Lots of shortening and clarifying. I hope it helps you. Next – my step by step publishing journey.


To find out more about Author and WWG Member, Curt Locklear, please visit his website: or check out his author page on the Woodlands Writer's Guild Website:

#Novel #Writing #Advice

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