After updating my blog, there was this quote sitting in the sidebar, smiling at me. I don’t know how it got there, or why it was that particular quote. It crawled out of a hole in time, space, and literary secrets to present itself to me. It made me smile, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of you.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.— W. Somerset Maugham
And there it is. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to offer to aid the quote, as I’m sure everyone can understand the meaning of it rather easily. But just in case you’re worried your idea might be wrong, let me put your mind at ease.
What Maugham is saying is that this is no set way or rule to writing a novel. Yes, somewhere in the universe of secrets there are three exact rules for writing that will get you instantly famous and everyone will love you more than baby kittens who sneeze and fall over into more kittens, but the fact you have to understand is that no one in the history of the world knows what these key rules are.
There is no way to know for certain what your writing will be liked by anyone but your best friend since second grade or your ever-loving mother figure. There’s no way to guarantee your story, poetry, or play will be made into a movie, gain more than a few thousand fans, create a new entry into the dictionary, inspire a theme park, change lives, or last 1,000 years into the future so The Doctor can tell his companions that you’re the best-selling novelist of all time. There is just no possible formula known to man, woman, or publisher to figure out how or why any fandom becomes as popular as it does. It’s 60% skill, determination, and knowing the right people… and the other 40% is simply luck.
So enjoy yourself while you’re writing. Write at your pace and about the things you care about. Be yourself and hope for the best. Maybe you aren’t lucky now, but maybe one day the right person will see your book on the shelf and your luck with explode.
Good luck in luck, fellow writers.