Novel writing advice

Novel writing advice

Dear Mookychick,

I want to write a novel – I have a very brief idea of the plotline but I wanted a few opinions on it before I start wrecking my brain researching for it, just in case there’s any chance my book idea is unwritable, or plain too wacky to be comprehended by any reasonably sane person.

The story goes like this: An anarchistic intellectual travels the world trying to understand what life is about. She meets with different people, challenging their morals and philosophies, dragging them out of their comfort zones to discover what humans really are behind the mask of perception. The novel would be basically about her travelling around the world, setting social experiments for each person she meets to analyse them, and also about her own philosophies and opinions. For each experiment she writes her own conclusion, and they get more and more drastic as the story progresses. Her journey is driving her slowly insane and the search for meaning becomes her life’s purpose until she can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t anymore.

My plan was to write the whole book in the first person from her point of view, with an epilogue in the third person describing what happens to her after. I told a friend about it (albeit, worded differently) and he suggested the main character be a teenager instead of an adult, since I’m a teenager, and have her experiment on herself almost to the point of suicide to find out the meaning.

Anyway, I’d greatly appreciate if you could give your opinions on it, any advice you have and books/films you’d recommend as references.

Love, Anonymous Me xxx

The Mookychick answer to your problem

Ashley says…

Basically, my advice comes down to one word: NaNoWriMo. Go to the site. Join the forums. Buy the book (it’s on Amazon, used, for cheap). Read the book. Start May 1. 1,667 words a day. Just churn it out – then you’ll have the basic bulk upon which to pour your questions. The best part is that you won’t be able to despair – as you eventually will – that you’ll never be able to finish such an insurmountable task. Because you’ll already have a first draft – more than most aspiring writers ever will.

Magda says…

Hello lady, this sounds fun. Ashley’s idea is an excellent one – and she speaks from experience, she did it herself.

One thing every book needs is conflict: the protagonist starts off one way, then their actions – and life – create a conflict that must be resolved. If you get that, you’ve got a book, and it sounds like that could easily be worked into your novel idea.

A good book to read might be Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy (a simply wonderful book and all seen through the eyes of a teenager).

I am only suggesting this book because it takes a different stance on your own subject matter, and I don’t think the style or construction would distract you too much from your own book. To you, your own book must be more important than anything you read!

Good luck! xxx