Thursday, November 24, 2005

WRITING A NOVEL IS... A round-up of ACFW member replies

A previous post collected several similes by various authors answering the question: "What is writing a novel like?"

I asked the question on the main loop of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a terrific organization, well worth joining by any of you interested in writing stories, plays, screenplays, and (especially) novels with a Christian spiritual content.

These are the replies I received:

~Writing a novel is like putting on pantyhose:
At first you start out enthusiastically and everything falls into place. Then things get tougher and you work and stretch to make it all fit. Through sweat and tears, the end approaches. You suffocate under the pressure, but manage to squeeze everything into place. When you finally see the finished product, you're relieved and pleased. All the effort was worth it.
--Gina Conroy

~Writing a novel is like walking the dog. Sometimes the dog pulls you
barrelling forward, other times he's doing his own thing and you have
to stop and wait, other times he's sniffing every which direction and
you have to do a convoluted backtrack. It's never straightforward,
predictable, or in your control, even if you are holding the leash.
After all, who's the one picking up who's poo-poo?
--Camy Tang

~Writing a novel is like boiling an egg. You're never quite sure when it's done.
--Vasthi R. Acosta

~Writing a novel is like giving birth. There is the joy of it growing from the tiniest germ of an idea until it matures enough to push out into the world.
--Alice K. Arenz

~Writing a novel is like...having your life to do over again.
--Deb Kinnard

~Writing a novel is devotion to the character's cause all the way to completion!
--Jennifer Clark Vihel

~Writing a novel is like cooking dinner. You have a several things brewing in many different pots. Timing is crucial.
--Betsy St. Amant

~Writing a novel is freeing, frustrating, exhilirating, gut-wrenching and dream-fulfilling when you're over 60.
--Bonnie Engstrom

~Writing a novel is like learning to play golf. It looks easy. You can't imagine what all the fuss is about. You pick up a club, or a pen, and realize maybe a lesson or two wouldn't hurt.
--Peg Brantley

~Writing a novel is like raising a puppy.
--Gail Sattler

~Writing a novel is like being in love for the first time over and over and over again. You get to fall in love with the characters, with parts of yourself, with the world around you, and with God on different levels, in different ways, even in different times and places--this is has got to be the coolest job in the world!
--Staci Stallings

~Writing a novel is the ultimate in highs and lows, like eating dark chocolate one day and scraping your fingernails across the chalkboard the next.
--Marion Kelley Bullock

~Writing a novel is a giraffe of a project, needing to cough up a lump of words.
--Ane Mulligan

Hope you enjoyed those.

I'd like to close with one that I liked a great deal, one I agree with, even though it's an answer to a more general question than the one I originally posed:

~Writing is worship.
--Katie Byers-Dent



michael snyder said...

Cool. Smart people, those ACFW'er's. Thanks for it's time to pick the one the fits me best and take it to my WIP.


Brenda Coulter said...

Like boiling an egg? Like learning to play golf? Like raising a puppy?

Those are some mighty creative people you're hangin' with, Mir.


Camy Tang said...

This was such a GREAT idea, Mir!