What I Learned from Failing a Novel

Hello Readers!


As promised, I am here with a writing post for this week! (Its a day late, but better late than never, right?) I am, from this point on, going to get posts up the days they are supposed to….or I will try to the best of my abilities. 😀 So, I shall get on with it!

When I was about twelve years old, myself and my (then) best friend set out to change the world with our pens in an epic fantasy with a two sassy and painfully sarcastic vampires and a centaur who lived in a world where their people were enemies and they had to fight an evil vampire villainess who was named after a body of water.

This was going to be the best book ever. Dozens of original creatures with extremely impossible names to pronounce, ancient languages, elves, centaurs, vampires, dragons, mermaids, shapeshifters, goddess like strangers, a supposedly dead family member is found to be still alive. So much drama, so much action, fantasy and….so.many.cliches.

We worked on that novel for a very long time but it soon turned into a very long series that we just kept working on and kept going and going and going throwing millions of plot twists and characters and story lines and everything…..It was about a year and a half later and we had over two hundred pieces of lined paper that was the first book and about an additional 300+ pages that were the second and third books and random bits and pieces. We were very dedicated writers and we ere going to be famous authors once it was done. We were hoping the next big thing after Harry Potter…. Ha!

Yeah. I can hear you all through your computer screens laughing at me and my friend. What happened to this story (as in the material copy) I don’t know. I’m not sure whether it’s all sitting in my friends closet or she burned what she had like I did but despite it being a flop there are lots of things I learned from failing that novel.

As I wrote that book I was always going back and editing what I had done and fixing things. I also learned how to write a book. I learned dialogue technique, character development and learned to be creative.

Even though the novel itself was a fail I learned tons of things that I took into my next novel, and from that novel (which was also a fail…) I took what I learned from that into my next one and so on and so forth. But do you want to know the most important thing I learned from failing a novel?

I learned to write! That is the most important thing. Sure the novel might have been crap and I probably wrote impossible things (like most little kids do) or filled my story with cliches but the most important thing I learned from that novel was HOW to write. Because of that novel (that is probably a pile of ashes somewhere) I learned how to write. It was what eventually brought me to this point. To the point where I have a million stories in my head and to the point where I am going to seek publishing for my a novel of mine in the new year.

Sure, I look back at my old writing and cringe at how terrible it was (and you might do the same) but it’s a part of me, a part of you that got us, as writers, to the very point we are at now in our writing journeys. So, maybe you won’t get your first published or maybe you will never touch that one draft again because you hate it so much but while you wrote those, they moved you forward in what you learned and improved your writing technique and voice and that’s why, you can learn a lot from the novels you have written and that have failed.

Until Next Time,

Adriana Gabrielle


2 thoughts on “What I Learned from Failing a Novel

  1. Totally YES. There is no way to learn how to write unless you start, right?!! My first books were all basically plagiarised from Narnia. I’m in mortal shame over them, but they were like probably 10K long and I figured they were a full BOOK. Baaah ah ah aha. So adorable of me. -_- I think it’s important to start writing and write badly. And it’s important not to quit because you hate writing badly….I heard someone say (I think it was John Green?) that you have to give yourself permission to suck. And I love that advice.


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