Friday, January 30, 2009

Writing a Novel and The Happy Dance!

First 3 completed chapters of my novel

I didn't tell y'all that I just finished a two year course on novel writing with Long Ridge Writers Group. This last assignment was actually way late and was really a challenge to get myself to do.

It was the business part of the course and included a query letter, a cover letter, a synopsis of the whole novel, a publisher's form, a revision of one of the chapters that I had already written and sent in to the instructor, plus a letter to the instructor. This part was not fun and I kept procrastinating. I finally got tired of it hanging over me, hoisted up my bloomers, and got it done and emailed to my instructor, who nearly died of a heart attack because he finally got an assignment from me. :) I started not to finish it, but now I'm so proud of myself for doing it and am awaiting my diploma.

This will be my second diploma from LRWG. I took the Breaking Into Print course on writing short stories and articles a few years ago, and it was worth every penny.

I really enjoyed writing the short stories and articles, and actually got a few of them published online. I found out early on in the novel writing course that I'm not sure that I have the patience to write a whole novel. Maybe if I'd written the rough draft of the whole novel to start with I'd feel differently.

For the novel writing course I only had to complete the first three chapters, plus plot lines, outlines, etc. I had to present two ideas and get the instructor's input, which was that he thought they were both good ideas with good characterization, and that either would be marketable. He left it up to me to pick one.

I chose to base the novel on a short story that I had written for the first course. The working title is "DANCING A DREAM." It is about an obese, thirty year old woman, named Fedora Isabella Quintana, nicknamed Fizzy, who lives to dance and still dreams of being a professional dancer.

I don't want to tell too much about it here, because I might decide to finish the whole novel and don't want to give away anything, but it is about five years of Fizzy and her best friend's lives. There is a little mystery, romance, setbacks, adventure, humor, and a lot of dream chasing in it.

I actually have written two short stories with these two characters, and everyone who has read them has enjoyed them. They have both almost been published. I would love to post them here, but that might hamper them ever getting published when I start submitting again. I haven't submitted anything in a while, but I plan on starting again soon.

My instructor encouraged me to finish the novel and submit it. He thinks it has a good plot line, interesting characters, and a good chance at getting published. Right now I don't think I have the patience for all the reivisions of that many chapters. I almost got burned out on the first three. I prefer short stories or personal experience pieces, but who knows, I already have a good start on the novel, so when I've rested a while on it I may just finish it...or maybe I'll write one on the other idea I had about the cat lady. We'll see.

Anyway, I'm proud of me for finishing the course. I have too many other works in progress going on as it is. Trust me, I did the happy dance as soon as I finished. :)



I have read some of your posts. I have seen the works of art you have displayed. I liked the same and would love to revisit your website.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a visit to my blogs would be an interesting one for you. I assure you that you would get value for the time spent in reading my literature and the articles on paintings.
The link is are:


I write reviews of other friends' literature and paintings, too. You can see one of the reviews of a pencil drawing here:

Naval Langa

Genie Sea said...

Congratulations! Well done! If you feel inspired to finish it, I am sure it will be amazing, :)

soulbrush said...

hey what a great thing to do, i am proud of you go girl!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I'm working on a novel too! Good luck on it--it IS hard work!

I've been working on mine off and on for almost 30 years. I get sick of it and put it away, then get it back out--but I think it is almost ready!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Congratulations on finishing the course and good luck getting published! (I'm working on one too!)

I guess I already said that but I keep coming back to this one.

Jen r. said...

I think you should finish it AND submit it! I have 2 books I've written sitting in drawers because I am so intimidated by the submission process.. you should so do it!