the first novel

My friend Lisa, who is on a six month RTW honeymoon, just let me and a few friends know that she has started writing a novel. She’s currently in Dublin, inspired by the literary history there, and pounding out the beginnings of her book. Lisa is a lawyer, not a writer, and it’s all pretty new to her. She hopes to finish it while she’s there, which in my book, is an impressive and ambitious enterprise.

One of our friends asked her to give us a quick plot synopsis and I immediately cautioned her against it.

A handful of years back I was writing a movie script. I was so in to it, thought the idea was a great one, and couldn’t shut up about it. My friend Scott, who had been writing for years, (and successfully at that), told me that it’s better to spend my time working on it, rather than talking about it. Wise advice, and the kind that I already should’ve known at 25. But I disregarded him went on excitedly blathering about my idea. Next thing you knew the script was in a binder in a filing cabinet collecting dust.

Scott never tells me what he’s working on, and he gets them done. He’s edited some of the Simpson’s books, written comics, written for tv, and now has his own tv show debuting this fall on ABC. (on Disney’s 1 Saturday Morning). Proof that his system works, at least for him. And I’ve learned a thing or two also…

When I was on my trip last year and trying to keep up with my travelogue on BootsnAll,” I found it hard to write my stories if I’d just sent a long email update to my friends and family back home. It was as if telling the story briefly through email let out some of the potential creative energy that would’ve revealed itself through the full article. The articles where this happened seemed flat compared to the ones I’d kept to myself.




Everyone has their own system, or systems for what works and doesn’t. This is just one that I’m learning to trust for my ownself. Lisa can let us know what worked for her when she gets back. Until then, writing a novel in a month is possible. I know a guy who did it working two jobs. Have you heard of National
Novel Writing Month?

Here are more resources for how to write a book if you’re just starting out:
Resource Links for Fiction Writers from

Seven Suggestions for Writing a Novel

How to Write & Sell Your First Novel and other book resource links from The Writers Store.