What We Learn From Writing Our Novels

Julianna Baggott said, “…each novel teaches me how to write it.”

I agree with her. I have three novels in my computer files. From the first one, I learned the characters limited my reading audience and how to write emotions into scenes. The second one, I learned to love rewriting and polishing it that I don’t think it will ever be ready. The third one is waiting for me to do more work on it and I learned I had to have a little more control of my POV character.

Have you written a novel or novels and learned something different from each one?



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For over twenty-five years, I've taught elementary grades, high school, and county special education classes. Now I am a field supervisor for teachers working toward their teaching credentials. I also teach writing classes in Dublin and Pleasanton, California. I have won 5 awards in short story contests, My stories are published in The California Writers Club Literary Review, and several anthologies including four times in Las Positas College collections. I have several book projects, but the two that have my immediate attention are HADA'S FOG, which is women's fiction, LILLI, a YA novel, and NORMAN IN THE PICTURE, a paranormal mystery. I have published an anthology WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES that includes writings from members of my writing classes and other writers. It's available on Amazon and Kindle.

6 thoughts on “What We Learn From Writing Our Novels”

  1. Absolutely. So this might sound impressive, but it’s not. I’ve kind of written five novels. The first and second are 200,000 monstrosities that even I couldn’t get through! They’ll forever be in drawer. Then I started have people read bits and attending writing groups and classes and really refined my writing. After that I wrote to more, of reasonable length, but learned a lot through re-writing and getting feedback on how to write action scenes. Then I took more classes and learned strategies for plotting and creating complex characters. Now I’m almost done with my fifth and this one I’m quite proud of. It’s been an epic quest, but I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without those first attempts and other writers to guide me 🙂


    1. Hi Joy,
      I know what you meant, that writing novels is an epic quest. I think of my first novel as an extraordinary first experience of my characters writing the story. I can see how you wrote “monstrosities” in length. I didn’t want to stop that first one either. My third that I’ve rewritten six times, I call my Novel 101. It’s been like a college class compared to the first one.

      Good for you to have written five and learning through classes and other writers. Good luck and keep writing.

      Thanks for commenting, it’s nice to meet you.



    1. I agree, Sheri.

      I like to reflect on what specifically I’ve learned about the process, and I’m surprised at what I learn about myself.

      Thanks for stopping by and hope you’re feeling better.



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