watching, reading, and writing stories

The Novel’s Journey

on November 19, 2013

I know I don’t mention it on this blog a lot, but I am a writer. Specifically I’ve been working on publishing my first novel for the past several years. Writing a novel is a long process. Not only does it take perseverance to actually finish, it also takes serious thought and editing skills. On top of that pile on the whole mess of trying to self publish and you can start to see why it takes so long to actually finish.

But I’m proud to announce that my novel “Finding Home; The Orphan’s Journey” is now finished! It is available on Amazon today!


I’d like to share a little about how this story came to be, and perhaps in the future I’ll post some small sections from the text itself. But if you want to go ahead and purchase a print copy, feel free.

This novel began as an sketchy idea. Oftentimes as I’m going to sleep I think up some story in my head. Usually I’ve forgotten it by the next morning and most of them aren’t worth remembering, but this time, I liked the idea. I decided the next morning to write out a generalized plot line. It wasn’t a super long plot, and most of it was the big picture. In essence I knew I wanted to write a story about an orphan who goes on a quest to find his long lost family, in hopes that they are still alive. I had a few ideas of what should happen to him on this quest, like running into a Princess and saving her life. But there were lots of gaps and holes, and I had no idea how to end the story. Also, the big picture was very different from actually writing a book, putting in dialogue and description and organizing the whole thing into chapters. All of this actual writing was a big job that I had never attempted before.

The writing process started out slow, I started with a grand back story explaining what had actually happened to this orphan, but eventually realized that this was not a great way to start a book. It was good to write so I knew what had happened, but it wasn’t needed for the reader.

As years continued, I still dreamed about one day actually finishing my book, but high school was nearing it’s end and my busy college days lay before me. I thought that taking Writing classes in college would help motivate me to finish, but instead of writing my novel, I wrote other papers, and learned more about what it takes to write well. In addition, during my college years I was able to secure a job at a local middle school where I was supposed to read with students. As I saw examples of good and bad literature in the school library, I began to think again about my novel, and giving younger kids an exciting book that was also clean and safe. I was really tired of kids coming across crude language and telling me “I’m not allowed to say this.” Of course you’re not, I was thinking, this stuff shouldn’t be in a kid’s book. There’s got to be better stuff out there. And so I decided that my novel could be one of these ‘better’ books, at least in the sense of crudeness.

By the time I had graduated from college, it had been a long time since I’d actually tried to write anything connected to this novel. When I finally looked back at it, I realized how simple the language was and how difficult it would be to “fix” what I’d already written. But I decided to try. Now that there was no homework to do, I had time to write.

So I recruited a few friends to give me feedback on my early chapters, then I started writing furiously. By writing very long research papers in college, I had learned that writing was not such a big challenge after all, I just had to do it. Another contributing factor was the National Novel Writing Month. My sister had won the contest my senior year of college, and I began developing a plan of finishing my novel before November, and then trying to write a sequel during the contest month. With this goal in mind, I worked much more diligently. By November 1st I was done with my rough draft and ready to write more.

After the busy NaNoWriMo season, I entered a new phase: editing. Some of it was fun; developing chapters, making artwork, or adding descriptive details. But editing also meant scrolling for typos multiple times, and having a few friends read the whole draft for errors. As you can imagine, this was a long process that took several months, but finally I was nearing the end. Figuring out the cover and description was actually not as hard as I thought it would be, thanks to Create Space’s program. And now I’ve come to the end of my journey, at least for this novel.

So if you’re interested in starting a journey for yourself, buy the book. Or if you’ve already started out on your own book, leave me a comment and let me know where you are in the writing process.


2 responses to “The Novel’s Journey

  1. Congratulations! You’ve finished one journey and ready to start another. I know how hard that process is as I have edited five books, three published and two pending, for author friends, Do you have a plot idea for your next one?

    • lmhill says:

      Yes it is a hard process, and a long one. I have started a sequel to my book, but it is currently in the rough draft phase of development. Several plot points need to be added, deleted or revised. So I guess I’m on the journey again. 🙂

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