As I read the details, I knew I wanted to take the course. However, several arguments against saying yes filled my mind:
- I write mostly non-fiction
- I have five young children and limited time to write
- I'm not your typical novel writer - I haven't had a story twirling around in my brain just waiting for the right opportunity to be put onto paper
- Most of the pieces I write are between 500-2000 words
For assignment one I was required to come up with two different ideas for novels. To my surprise, two ideas were right there in my imagination waiting. I was excited about exploring both ideas, but was partial to one. After I sent off my assignment the doubts started coming. Who am I trying to fool? I just don't have it in me to write a novel. Where am I going to find the time? An idea is great, but how am I ever going to flesh it out? And even if I do, what valuable takeaway can I give my reader? One day I was filled with anticipation; the next day I wondered what I was getting myself into.
My instructor liked both of my ideas, but she preferred the same idea I did - a mystery set in Ottawa in the late 1950's. Assignment two focused on character development - especially figuring out what motivates your main character. My online critique partners were very helpful as I thought through how my main character would respond to a situation I chose. After several revisions I hit the "send" button.
Currently I'm working on the plot. I'm enjoying the process for the most part, but I still have those niggling doubts as well.
Is anyone else working on their first novel? I'd be interested in hearing about your challenges and successes.