Although writing a novel is an incredible experience, it is certainly not an easy one. My name is Miray Kose, a first-year law student at Durham University, and I am the author of the historical crime fiction book Game of Iniquity, to be published on the 28th of April.
About me and my book
I started writing my book during my two gap years. Taking this time off really allowed me to focus on this endeavour, amongst other commitments. (However, having all this time to focus on it, certainly did not help get it finished any quicker.)
Writing a book at 18-20 years old is definitely not an easy task. Your skills are constantly developing, your interests keep changing and you tend to doubt your talents. This has led to a lot of deleting and starting over, but in the end, I did (somehow) manage to write about 80 000 words I am rather happy with.
Never ending research
When writing a book, you will have to do research. Depending on your genre, this can range from a manageable amount to having to teach yourself the entire history of a time period. For me, having my book set in Victorian London, it was the latter.
Although I absolutely adore learning about different time periods, writing a book set in one can be excruciating. I often found myself googling things like ‘how did doorbells work in the 19th century?’ right in the midst of writing the best prose I had ever written. Finding out these details, which may seem irrelevant to the average person, really is of great importance to the accuracy of your book. Annoyingly, this just happens to take a very long time. (Therefore, I do hope I did not make any embarrassing historical mistakes. And if I did, I’ll just call it ‘fiction’.)
Breaking past ‘2-dimensionalism’
One of the most difficult things to do is breathe life into your characters. I call this breaking past 2-dimensional creations and turning your book into a full-on 3D cinematographic experience. Many people don’t realise how hard it is to create an entire person, a being that is supposed to have years’ worth of memories and experiences, out of nothing. It requires intensive planning and situational assessments in order to get the hang of writing in this character’s voice and understanding them enough to write about their thoughts. I’m pretty sure I made a good attempt at this in Game of Iniquity, but you can be the judge of that.
And here comes the most difficult part of all, the publishing process. The truth is, unless you are an outrageously talented writer that has written the most unique book ever, you will get rejected. A lot. And it will hurt. And you will start doubting yourself. And you will consider just giving up altogether. The publishing industry is fiercely competitive. And the best part is, you will never know if you’re getting rejected solely because of this competition or because your book is crap. Have fun figuring that out (because they never tell you)!
Overall, writing a book for publication was an incredible experience. It taught me invaluable skills such as time management, organisation and communication. It taught me how a Victorian doorbell works. And most importantly, it looks rather dashing on a CV.
Find out more
If I have enticed you enough to purchase my book, you can find it here to pre-order on Waterstones. (Or you can pop into the Waterstones shop in Durham on the 28th of April). For more information regarding my work, please visit my website: www.miraykose.com. Here you’ll also find more articles on writing, life in general and fun (or morbid) historical facts.