I Wrote A Novel*

And immediately I thought to myself, I should write a story about writing that story. It could be meta and funny and clever. I have so many amazing anecdotes about this process, e.g., the time I sat in a Casino for a bit to see what the fuss was about for Research Purposes, or the time I was working in a café like a Proper WriterTM and the waiter actually asked what I was doing and I got to say ‘writing a novel’, or the time used a sword.

So I sat down to write this meta and funny and clever story.

After several months, four abandoned drafts, many unintended tangents into grim trigger-warning topics, an existential crisis, giving up twice, extreme use of the backspace key, and many, many, many cups of coffee all I had to describe writing a novel was …

9 panels of me writing. Several in front of a window with changing seasons. One in a cafe. One in bed. One in a garden. One on the couch.

… a montage.

No, worse than a montage. A montage without a kick-arse soundtrack.

Actually, small request? Could go put on your favourite montage track on. Spotify, mp3 player, CD, tape deck, vinyl, acapella cover band taking requests, however you play your music. Doesn’t matter. Got it? Cool. Now that’s playing, would you mind looking at that last illustration again?

… any better?

Yeah. Figured.

It wouldn’t do. This may come as a shock, but I have standards for this site. Not every loose thought or whim ends up here. I try do an acceptable-if-not-amazing-enough-to-get-widely-known job (and since no one has shared my stuff enough to make me widely-known yet, I assume I’m hitting that sweet spot. This is definitely fine and deliberate and not at all a secret disappointment to me).

I thought a bit harder about what the writing process was actually like, and finally I came up with something else.

3 panels. Panel 1: me lying upside-down on couch. Partner says 'what's wrong?' I say 'I need someone to tell me my writing is amazing'. Panel 2: partner says 'your writing is amazing'. Panel three: I look tortured and yell, in a tortured sort of way 'WHY WOULD YOU TELL ME SUCH A HORRIBLE LIE?'

I thought, better. Much better. It introduces some conflict, reveals character, and does that satisfying thing where I am completely honest about what a terrible person I am but somehow this entertains people rather than driving them away probably because they wrongly assume I am being hyperbolic (and I have just done that thing again by pointing it out). I have finally, in Proper WriterTM terminology, advanced the story.

Excellent. What happens next?

3 panels. Panel 1: me sitting at my desk, looking like I have just come up with an incredible idea. Panel 2: my excitement fading as I realise that idea isn't a real idea after all. Panel 3: me side-eying the reader in apologetic fear.

Here’s the thing.

Writing a novel felt like carrying the one ring to Mordor across an endless plain. It felt like slipping into a Lovecraftian dimension to stare down the old gods. It felt like fighting to the death in an arena for the entertainment of the Capitol (… if all the other tributes were me as well and I was also everyone watching it on TV, anyway).

It took years. I made myself chip away at it, re-write whole drafts, do better each time. I used it as a distraction from my miscarriages, my growing depression, the world. Sometimes the thought of it sitting on my laptop waiting for me kept me hiding in bed in the morning, other times it got me up early.

But all that happened in my head. From the outside, it just looks like a montage. And I don’t have a meta and funny and clever story to tell about writing.

Nevertheless, I have set up a brand spanking new alternate site so I can chat about writing ad nauseum for, ideally, the rest of my life.

Me presenting my laptop with my new site on it and saying 'Ta da!'

Maybe chuck it a follow if that sounds fun?

* Pretty much. Some final polish to go still, but I’ve done four-ish total re-write drafts as well as several editing rounds. It’s there. It exists. I feel I’ve earned use of the phrase ‘I wrote a novel’.

*************************

So my new blog is OVER HERE. It will be different from Silence Killed the Dinosaurs, and Silence Killed the Dinosaurs will absolutely continue as is, unaffected. You do not have to follow the new site, particularly if you have no interest in writing, fantasy novels, or me as a person and not a stick figure. But, if you do, head on over.

Other light-hearted, non-dramatic stories and comics collected HERE.

If you love my stories and comics, check out my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Along with the usual merch you can now get facemasks in my store. Specifically here.

And don’t forget you can follow me for updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

22 thoughts on “I Wrote A Novel*

  1. Fantastic to read Lucy, and I shall be heading over to the new site as soon as this comment is finished. I don’t have any novel writing (in either way that could be read) ambitions myself but am always entertained by and enjoy explanations of the pain, torment and torturous process experienced by other people while they’re trying to do it. This always confirms my lack of ambition is probably wise

    1. Thanks for the follow! I also hope people can read it sometimes soon … but I wouldn’t hold my breath just yet. There’s still a loooooot that has to happen before it can get out in to the world (if it even does. But I hope it does).

  2. How exciting! Well done! I’ve only ever written one novel too. It was a long and painful process, but I was inexplicably drawn to it nonetheless. Not sure if I’ll ever attempt to write another one, but it was satisfying to add that to my list of accomplishments. I’ll head over to the new blog later (already subscribed!) But first, lunch :)

  3. The only thing that shocks me is… how come you’re not actually a stick figure? My sense of reality has been shaken! (and I’m totally going to follow the other blog too because writing is fun, and reading about writing is also fun!)

    1. You are correct, my comics are a lie. Not only are my arms and legs more substantial in real life, but I … this is hard to admit … own and wear clothes that are not a dark blue dress.

      I know. I’m sorry for misleading you.

      (PS thank you! See you on the other blog!)

      1. What, how come? Here I was thinking you had a wardrobe like a comic book character’s, with dozens of dark blue dresses. I think I need to lie down. Or call my mom. (lol)

        (Looking forward to all of the fun stuff on the other blog!)

  4. I have been following your blog for quite sometime now and I thoroughly enjoy your comics. The humorous way you take to express your personal mishaps is truly nice.(But I feel sorry for mishaps though). Good luck on the new venture :)

  5. Gosh I loved this piece. You remind me of Hyperbole And A Half. Your talent is amazing, with the drawing and writing and all. Am glad I found your site cos now imma follow it. Do keep doing what you’re doing!

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