Writing A Novel – Learning From Mistakes
The most powerful lessons we learn in life are from our own mistakes. Sometimes they’re silly mistakes. Sometimes they’re gross miscalculations. Sometimes we gambled too much and lost.
Over the past two weeks we’ve been going through a series of daily exercises designed as a self-study, even for someone who may not ever write a novel, short story or screenplay.
The gist of the exercise is simple. Take out a stack of blank 3 x5 notecards, title, number and date them, and then add a list of items associated with the exercise.
So here’s today’s challenge. Make a list of what you have learned from the mistakes you have made in your life. Maybe this just needs to be one lesson per card. It’s up to you and as always, there are no wrong or right answers and you don’t have to share them with anyone else but yourself. But the premise here is that when you go to writing and creating your characters, you’re going to want to create an arc for them over the length of the story. That means they start at one point and hopefully, after crossing a couple bridges from which there is no return, they end up at a different point in their lives. Usually in storytelling that means they go from a negative aspect in their lives to a positive one. They go from being a lazy drunkard to an energetic community leader hero and find redemption, etc. Over simplifications, but I hope you get the point.
Well to write about those things, wouldn’t it be easier to have something of a list in hand BEFORE you really get going down the path so you have a better idea where you’re going? And what better a thing to weave in some realness into your characters by dealing with things that you have truly experienced or seen in the lives of others?
Thinking about writing a novel? Now do you understand why this is so important for a writer?
Now thing about how important it still might be to someone who may never write a thing in their life, but instead used this one blog post to make an important life change….