Failure and Writing @ Link Wanderlust


Writing a novel takes time. David Ebenbach talks about how it took him twenty-five years to write his first real novel. Though the book actually took two years, he’s referring to how long it took him to get there.

“Maybe the only reason I was able to write Miss Portland and have it be any good is because of all the work that happened before 2013—work that consisted of (among other things) seven bad, failed novels, work that went all the way back to 1990. Maybe each one of those failures was part of the process of learning how to write a novel. Learning, in fact, what a novel even is.”

This happens to every writer. The author describes how his first two novels were influenced by adolescent anxiety and the rest by other authors. He understands that ideas alone are not enough and neither is plot. A point comes after so many failures when you look at the manuscript and know that you are going to make it work. As the cliche goes, failure is often the bedrock of success.

Read Failing at Great Length: What I’ve Learnt from Writing Bad Novels by David Ebenbach.

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