Join us in welcoming Ronlyn Domingue as our guest. Ronlyn is the author of The Mercy of Thin Air (Atria Books), which sold to 11 other countries. Her writing has appeared in
Here's the question we posed to her...
What is the secret to writing a novel?
I have no clue, but this is what has worked for me the first time. So far, it's working for the second.
1. Discipline. Some people say that a writer MUST write every day. That isn't true. You have to figure out what works in your life. That might take a while to discover. You might plot your story, then write, then revise. You might start to write and watch it evolve as you go. Early mornings or late evenings, all day Sundays--whatever, it doesn't matter--as long as you put your rear in a chair on a schedule that works for you. My current process is to do lots of research and thinking for several years. Yes, years. I take notes, of course, and I don’t have a schedule for this. Once I actually write, however, it’s a serious binge of eight to sixteen hour days, several days a week. I mark this on my calendar, often in ink. (No, I don't have children.)
2. Passion. Love what you’re working on. Even when you hate it, love it. Surprisingly, writing a book presents challenges much like an intimate relationship. Remember what brought you together in the first place.
3. Study. Read what you love over and over again. There's a reason you love those books. Those authors are your teachers. Make a point to read new books every now and then. With them all, take notes, draw diagrams of the structures, and find those sentences that hold secrets in the balance.