How Important is Loving Your Novel?

Photo credit: quinn.anya on Flickr
So not too long ago I read this post from fellow writer Ara Grigorian (@araTHEwriter on Twitter) in which he made an interesting statement:

If you don't have a passion for your story, you'll get sick of her, before she's had the chance to evolve and shine into the beauty you know she will become.”

He argued that you need to love your story if you hope to reach a fully completed manuscript, then went on to ask if he was being overdramatic.

I don’t think he was being overdramatic—in fact, I think he was right on.

The thing with writing a book is it takes a long time—more than time, it takes a huge amount of effort. It’s emotionally draining and exhausting work that often requires huge amounts of rewriting after you’ve already poured your heart and soul into the story. And no, I’m not being overdramatic, either.

Seriously guys, if you don’t believe 150% in your novel, who else is going to believe in it? If you aren’t absolutely sure that you love your characters, your story—then guess what? Maybe you shouldn’t be writing it at all.

I’m going to push further. Maybe you love your story, but there’s this one character you aren’t so sure about. That iffy feeling you have about that character shouldn’t be ignored. That’s a sign, guys. That’s your subconscious telling you, “Hey, you could probably do better with that character.” Do NOT ignore the iffy feeling!

Here’s a homework assignment: if you have a completed manuscript and you feel “meh” about one of your characters—scrap them and rewrite them completely. It’s a scary thought, I know. It’s a lot of work. But it’s absolutely worth the effort, trust me. I’ve done it myself.

Maybe it isn’t a character you feel iffy about, maybe it’s a scene, or a chapter, or a paragraph or a sentence—hell, maybe it’s even a word. Point is, if you don’t love it, then chances are you could make it better. So what are you waiting for?

Because the truth is guys, you need to love every aspect of your story. How will you endure reading it 10-15 (or more) times if you don’t believe in the words on the page? How will you survive a review that points out the flaws in your story if you weren’t sure about it to begin with?

You need to be passionate about your story—there’s no way around it. Writing a novel isn’t easy. There will be times you’ll be tempted to give up, moments when you’ll glare at your manuscript and swear that if you’d rather be mauled by a pack of rabid ferrets then read it one more time. And when you reach that moment, you’ll have to make a choice—do I continue, start over or give up?

And there isn’t a wrong choice, really. It just comes down to how much you love your story.

What do you think? Are we being overdramatic? Is loving your story really that important? 

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