Everyone has a story to tell. Even if its a whiny one.
This past week was a rough one for me. I know. The world is on fire with war and strife, and I have the nerve to complain about dental issues and viruses. Well, if you are going to write about anything fictional, you are essentially...whining and bitching. To the point that even your dog hates you...
People in novels don't behave like everyday folks. Yes, the scenarios are the same, perhaps enhanced, but essentially the same. For example, in my book, The Time Fixers, the lead protagonist finds out his wife is a double dealing trollop who stole the love of his life. Most people would hit the local saloon, curse their bad luck, and get on with life. A son who found out about his father's strife would say 'bad show old man' and buy the second round. (Actually, no one talks like this outside 30's potboilers but you get the idea.)
It is extremely unlikely that even if you could devise a way to return to the past, you wouldn't. It reeks of danger and even the most self-centered skunk would shy away from potentially destroying the timeline.
But you are writing a novel.
The reason you do that is to explore ideas through the familiar, with unfamiliar or even extraordinary to uncover hidden truths. Or speculation, or out and out fantasy. Think of it. A science fiction book would read like a stereo manual (dating myself) if it weren't for people and their silly actions. In essence, all genres are human stories. Unless they're about a wolf or a seagull (extra points if you get that one). Even then the characters are anthropomorphic or we'd be reading about tracking down smaller animals, killing, and eating them. Despite the cute tricks your dog has to get you to do his will...
So, what's your point?
On the one hand, this is great news! You can build a world and construct characters that aren't bound by any rules, save readers displaying their dissatisfaction. (Not buying your book). In this light, there is never an excuse for your writing to be boring or repititious. From your point of view. Literary agents and publishers these days aren't looking for creative. They want a safe, easy kill by an author who has an enormous social media footprint, or is likely a celebrity of some sort. Don't sacrifice your great story to try and get past the gatekeepers. Marketable, yes. No stories about a self-sacrificing doily maker in the Prussian War. But be REMARKABLE! Remember, the new paradigm is self-publishing, the best friend a reader ever had.
Keep at it.
Alright, now you see the opportunities. You can write about anything (mostly) and there are few rules. Here is my advice. Work. Hard. When others are watching the ball game, write. When the gang is having its third patio cocktail party of the week, write. When you wife wants to keep dinner reservations on your anniversary...yeah, better go, unless you want a first hand look at divorce. Come on now. If you you're smart enough to write, nearly everyone is, you can figure out times to devote. In following posts, I'll get into the specifics, but you won't go anyway fast if you don't know these points.
Know this, nobody cares that you're writing. Nobody wants to proof your writing. No one thinks you have what it takes to be a writer. Except you. Go with that.