Monday, October 26, 2009

Babel Clash: Things Midwinter Taught Me

My final post over at Babel Clash is in response to the moderator's question about what aspiring writers can learn from my novel Midwinter.

I pondered this question all weekend. What lessons could Midwinter teach aspiring writers? The self-flagellating artist in me immediately responds, “Nothing. It’s a mediocre book at best; derivative, not descriptive enough, goes off on a far-too-wide tangent about 2/3 through. If aspiring writers were to learn anything from it, it would only be from the massive pile of mistakes I made in it.”

Of course, this is hyperbole. Sure there are things I could have done better, but all in all, I think Midwinter works just fine. Great literature? Probably not. A solid fantasy read? Sure. Certainly a journeyman first novel. Even downright clever in places.

Maybe this is what it can teach you. Unless you are one of those supremely confident individuals who never second-guesses him/herself, and also happens to be brilliant, you are very likely to have misgivings about any story you embark upon. The bigger the story, the more moving parts, the more trepidation you are likely to experience. You will probably spend some time in the midst of writing it (somewhere just past the halfway point seems to be my personal favorite spot) thinking that it is the worst novel ever written, and any smart person would abandon it now. Other days (maybe the next day), you might find yourself thinking that you are a genius who can do no wrong.

Continue reading.


  1. Matt,

    Nice post.

    That was a fun week of stuff and I agree that Willingham should post more when he's not too busy throwing rocks at Roberson.


  2. I took a more leisurely approach to the gig, because I didn't realize it would be over so soon.