What is a Novel?

I’ve been working on a book for around three months now, possibly longer as I lose track, having to dip into writing in between looking after my one-year-old son. I started with the intention of this becoming my first novel. I had an idea, a central character and a concept that had not been utilised before, one which I believed I could execute with a degree of success. I still believe in that core concept, but I no longer feel this will be a novel, at least not in the typical sense of the word.


This has caused me a considerable degree of anguish. Many times I have been told by writing professionals, agents and readers alike, that I need a novel to be considered seriously as a writer. I’d often furrow my brow and wonder why this was so? Are short stories not a mark of a real writer? How about stage plays or Novellas? How about poetry and screenplays? Am I playing at being an author just because I have not produced a piece of work spanning 80,000 words?

These questions and more weighed heavily upon me, and the writing ceased. My issues with what makes a novel/writer had ground me down until I feared to load WORD.

I shall say this now. The mark of a writer is that of he or she continuing with their work regardless of the input of others. It is there unwavering self-belief and dedication to push through the self-doubt and the writer’s block, to complete a piece, accept it for what it is and then be brave enough to release it into the world. The mark of a serious writer is their desire to improve their craft, to understand themselves and others better, to share their thoughts, ideas, and emotions with the reader. The mark of a serious writer is the ability to connect with their audience.

My next book may not be classed as a novel by some, but it will be a testament to my vision and will be the result of many hours of heartbreak, frustration, elation, doubt and hard work.

I may not land that agent or that publishing deal until I write what is deemed a ‘proper novel’, but I do hope that you shall enjoy my efforts in the meantime.


For more information about Dan and his work visit http://www.fatherdarkness.co.uk

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