Babies and Novels

As everyone may have now heard, my first grandchild, Bodhi, arrived today. I’m the proud grammie of a whopping nine pound, twenty-one inch boy. His papa, my oldest son Nathan, gets to tell the story again and again until the world knows. After a somewhat difficult labor, Roxy, Bodhi’s mama, is resting. Naturally, I’m thinking about how much having a baby is like writing a novel.

Writing Tip for Today: I’ve found quite a few parallels between giving birth and finishing a novel.

  • Both are conceived as ideas we don’t really know as well as we certainly will later on.
  • Both take some time to mature, sometimes much longer than originally anticipated. Bodhi was nearly a week late. My first novel was 15 years in the writing.
  • Both bring us joy, tears and more than a little pride.
  • Both quickly develop minds of their own.
  • Both novels and babies frequently call out to us or keep us up at night.

If we’re lucky:

  • The baby and the novel will each resemble us, but not so much that’s it’s hard to tell which is which.
  • Once the baby is born and the novel has been drafted, the real work of revision or training begins.
  • Nobody will tell us that our baby or our novel is ugly.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

3 comments on “Babies and Novels

  1. Thanks to all the well-wishers. My grandson is truly a blessing. Today he looks much better, too. He had quite a traumatic entrance and we’re thankful he only got bruised. ~Linda

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