You’re writing a book, too?

March 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

A few weeks ago, I found out that a girl who I’ve been friends with for a while was, in fact, writing a novel of her own. (If you’re reading this, hi Allison! Don’t worry, I won’t tease you. Too much.) I got jump-up-and-down excited because, well, I knew absolutely nobody – outside of the amazingamazing internetz, of course – who was actually writing a book like me. Our conversation went along of the lines of:


Her: Yeah *nervous laugh*

Me: What’s it about?!?!

Her: *refuses to say*

Me: *tries and fails to get her to spill info for the rest of class*

Okay, so that didn’t work too well. But today, I finally got Allison to tell me what her story, a historical romance with some fantasy, was about. She admitted that she only has a premise, and she’s only a few chapters in – but she has a few books she’s finished in the past. And THEN, get this, a guy in our English class put forth that he was writing a book, too! (We didn’t believe him at first, but apparently  it’s true.) He also said he’s not very far into it, but his premise is awesome: the story of a faithless Muslim teen who comes to America after his parents have died, only to find social rejection, and then… well, I won’t give it away.

This is pretty mind-blowing. I mean, to be blunt, a lot of teens think writing a book would be cool (at least when they don’t think about all the grammar and general dorkiness that actually goes into it). When prodded, they’ll admit that they want to write a novel. A lot of us think being a famous author would be awesome – you could even say it’s right up there with artist or video game designer. But most would-be authors have never gotten past the “what does my main character look like,” first chapter stage, if they’ve written anything at all. Why is it like that? Because, and it’s been said a million times, writing is hard. Once you really sit down and start thinking about plot and the pages and pages you’re going to have to write, the cool thing becomes a huge monster. And that’s the dividing line, the reason why truly devoted teen writers are so rare.

Which is why I commend Allison and the guy in my English class. I don’t know how far they’re going to get, but I’m really glad to know that are there are people in MY high school class who know what’s it like to sit down and really think about the plot and your characters. To really write. In some cases, it’s a resource. I had a great convo with Allison at one point where she helped me iron out some plot holes – whereas a lot of my other friends don’t know what to say besides “that’s cool.”

Of course, having a RL book-writing friend isn’t always a positive experience. You might find that someone has a dream to publish, but either their writing isn’t quite up to snuff or they’re mislead when it comes to expectations, and you’re not sure how to turn them in the right direction. I know one Twiftie had a pretty sucky time when she offered to edit her friend’s writing and that friend didn’t take her suggestions too kindly.

My question for you is… do you have any real-life novel-writing friends or acquaintances? How have you interacted with them, if you have at all?



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  1. I found out not long ago that one of my dorm-mates is writing a novel too, so now whenever we see each other we ask about each other’s books. Hers is awesome – but I won’t go into detail because I haven’t read it yet and I’ll probably explain the premise badly. :) It’s so cool to find other young writers around you.

  2. I don’t rally have any RL writer friends…but I have had some interesting conversations with some enthusiastic wanna-be writers:
    WBW: You’re writing a book?
    Me: Yup. *leeetle bit smug*
    WBW: Sweet. I should write half and then we split the money and both get rich.
    Me: I don’t think that’s how it wo-
    WBW: Are there any planes?
    Me: Planes?
    WBW: Yeah, I’m like an expert on aircrafts. So, I’m thinking half of the book should be taken up by a really insane plane crash, and-
    Me: How does a plane crash take up half a book?
    WBW: I dunno, but that’d be the half I write, you could worry about the other crap
    Me: Uh, my book is sort of . . . mostly done. It’s about vampires. I don’t think there’s a single mention of a plane, let alone a plane crash
    WBW: We’ll work it in.
    Me: ‘Kay. Send me an outline of this plane-crash-vampire book, and I’ll have my people call your people. *walks away, shaking head*

    • oh wow, a 30,000 word plane crash? that would be… brutal. haha!
      though it could be interesting, with multiple POVs… err, nvm. :D

  3. General dorkiness?

    So true.

    In answer to your question, I don’t have any friends who write. I consider myself lucky to have friends who read as much as I do. :) It must be awesome to have writing friends, even if, as you pointed out, it can lead to “uncomfortable” times. Nothing like sharing the disappointments and excitements with someone!

  4. I recently found out one of my friends is also writing a novel that my other friends have been reading. I haven’t seen her in a couple weeks (changed classes and now we have different lunches) but I’d never known that before.

  5. One friend of mine writes. That’s all. Some used to write, but gave up on it. I don’t think any of my friends are as obsessed with the publishing industry as I am. I’m the only one who actually reads technique and style books, too.

  6. My very best buddy in the whole wide world writes. Because I’m arrogant and self-centered, I didn’t think she’d get very far.

    Turns out she’s halfway done writing already and it has an awesome premise and awesome plot and awesome awesome everything. I’ve read bits of it; it’s good.

    Cue insane competitiveness.

    • competitiveness is good :) you’re in the same boat as Kristin. I’ve felt it, too… the truth is, we all think we’re so special, but that’s not (always) the case! ahaha.

  7. I feel like such a jerk when I assume someone isn’t good, and then they turn out to be really really REALLY good. *ashamed*

    Because I can totally see it in people’s eyes when they think that about me, and it sucks.

  8. I don’t have writer friends, but all my friends think it’s cool that I’m a writer. There are author blogs that I follow, but I wouldn’t call them acquaintances. I think it would be great to have a critique partner that was a writer, too, but currently, my beta reader is a co-worker of mine who has no understanding of the publishing/writing world. At all. And I’m finding that way is best. She’s coming in from the POV of a regular Jane reader and I get great feedback from her.

    • My boyfriend is my #1 beta reader, because he’s an extraordinarily picky reader, and my other beta is a writer/reader. Both of them are really helpful. I think having betas who are avid readers but they don’t like writing is just as useful.

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