Writing my idea of what a novel should be

I made the decision to start writing fiction back in December 2021. I had been a writer before then. In addition to my job as a Software Engineer, I wrote and still write technical software tutorials for money. Fiction was something I had dismissed in the past as the hardest thing ever. Imagine having to imagine stories out of thin air and put that on a page? It was unthinkable.

In my first year of university, at the age of fifteen, I tried to write a romance novel. Only a few chapters in, my roommate at the time read it and trashed it saying it was too predictable and she knew the two main characters would end up together. So I stopped, and never thought about it again. It makes me laugh thinking about it now how easily discouraged I was.

I have learned a lot in the past few months from writing daily. I’ve written some short stories, although none has gotten published in a magazine. Not that I’ve tried to submit them. On February 17th, I started writing a story inspired by a writing prompt posted on Reddit’s r/Writingprompts subreddit. I wanted to make it a short story, but it refused. And so I kept going at it daily. Eventually, it grew into 12,000 words. I never planned on writing a novel. I had promised myself that for now, since I was a novice writer, I had to practice with short stories. But this one went out of hand.

Writing a minimum of 500 words per day, I am currently at 50,000 words and counting, and it’s nowhere near done. I have learned so much so soon. I have a new respect and admiration for people who have written novels because it’s just not an easy thing to do. I shudder in fear when I think about going back to the beginning of the story to edit it because I know how messy the thing is.

Whenever I get stuck, there’s a temptation to abandon the story. But I know I can’t do that. I currently have nothing else to do with my life as of now. And I would love to do something with my life. I would love to see this through. I want to know that I am strong enough to finish writing something as hard as a novel.

I have no grand plans for this novel. I have heard from well-established novelists, and they have said it is unlikely for a person’s first novel to be good. Not that a debut novel hasn’t broken out before, it’s just that the odds are against it. After all, Gone with the Winds was a debut novel. Not that that’s going to stop me from editing it to the best of my capabilities or even querying it for that matter. If it goes nowhere, I’ll put it up here, I think.