Plowing Ahead: Vincent Bergamo On Writing A Fantasy Novel

For two years I had dreamed of writing a fantasy novel. I had been watching the novel unfold in my head.

vincentbergamoI read other works, wrote several short stories, and typed up plans. Finally, one day, I began writing it. I called it, “The Novel.”

I felt more inspired than I had ever been. My writing burst forth like the river breaking the dam. I strode on confident that my writing was masterful. Only twenty pages in, I felt the need to show someone my work. I asked my father.

“You don’t actually plan to make money with this writing thing do you?” he said.

But there were problems that ran deeper than the marketability of my book. Turns out my fantasy novel was a mess. The plot was impossible to track, the world was indescribable and my sentences rivaled those of an average seventh grader.

There were no bones about it: I was a bad fantasy writer.

I asked other people for advice. As if punishing me, they’d advise me to do things that I had already done. “Vincent, you should make a plan for your story so you have control of it.” Yeah, did that already. “Write short stories to help you get ready for longer stories.”
Did that too.

Then one day someone told me to do the one thing that I couldn’t.“Vincent, you should give up on writing this novel. There’s no way you can fix it.”

It was clear my novel was a disaster, yet giving up had never crossed my mind. The very thought of not writing it filled me with horror. The novel I was writing was the story I felt compelled to write.

I didn’t stop. Today, my novel is looking much better. Progress did not come easy. I took classes, sought advice from novelists, and read aloud to anyone who would listen. I learned writing techniques, key details about the publishing industry, and the grunt work of writing. I am still on this quest, for I have much to learn before I am good fantasy writer.

Indeed, my quest will not end until I die.