THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER, BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER, BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
My father knew exactly where to drive to. Not some sandy beach, oh no, this was more rugged. Millions of various size rocks, many worn down to mere pebbles by the ocean's waves, tide pools full of tiny crabs and starfish, and of course a coast full of seashells.
The first seashell I picked up was a winner. I need to go any further, I was a quarter richer. As I headed back to dad to show him my find saw another seashell that might be better than the first. I picked it up and studied it.
Yes, it was better and I tossed the first. It landed next to another shell and, uh oh, that one looked pretty good. I picked it up and it was a contender. Needless to say, this went on for over an hour and without thinking I had pockets full of seashells. We counted and I had thirty two. All of them unique.
When we laid them next to each other they were all beautiful in their own special way. "Well which one is the best?" he asked. I couldn't give him an answer. We decided to take all thirty two shells home. On the way back we stopped at a fish store and dad bought a fish tank. Not for fish, but for the shells.
We lined the tank with sand, added a few rocks, and strategically placed each shell in their new habitat.
By now you are asking what this has to do with writing. Nothing and everything. As writers we are constantly thinking of ideas for new stories. Some ideas take us further than others and few make it all the way to the end.
At last count I have saved 35 stories, each at various stages. You would think most are left to die, but I learned not to toss them away. They sit idle, hidden away and now and then I look at them. Scary stories, westerns, medieval, romance, adventure, crime, they're all there.
Will they all become novels, probably not, but I know sitting in that room is a sequel to The Mouse That Became the Cat, a story about two DEA agents that go rogue to avenge a friend's murder, a young female reality television producer out scouting locations and goes missing in an abandoned graveyard, a love story about a French couple who buy a restaurant and its clientele.
On and on. Every time I near the finish of one story I wonder what the next will be and it shows itself.
Next time I'll talk about where the ideas come from.
Early one evening a fast moving winter storm cripples New York City. Of all the places to be trapped Frank, Doug, Manny, and Billy are stuck for the night at their favorite place, Vinnie's Bar.
As the hours creep by each of the patrons, along with Vinnie, has a story to tell about the enigmatic Jimmy. Suddenly the door bursts open and a stranger, covered in snow and from another country, enters. He's carrying a message from Jimmy.
MY NEWEST STORY
COMING SATURDAY MARCH 3RD
1. You are a word hoarder
If the sentence makes sense, then you must have it. You can’t read books without having a notepad by your side. Why? It’s because you have this feeling that you’d read something that just makes sense.
As a result of this, you have lots of Post-it notes, jottings, memos and even scribbles on your tissue paper all in the name of “I don’t want to forget that”.
2. You love adventure
Whether it’s a movie of a 12-year old-boy trapped in time, the love story of woman who finally found true love after several heartbreaks, or your fantasies of saving the day, your mind is never in one place.
You love the thrill of creating pictures with your words. Leaving the present reality for short periods of time is what seems to keep you “alive”. Sometimes you’re accused of not paying attention. Well, if only they could follow you into the world you were in…then they’d understand.
3. You love to read
To you, putting your nose in a book is your definition of fun. While everyone else goes out to the movies or the game, you prefer quiet time with your legs curled up and a book in your hands.
Loaning a book out is difficult because the only thing going through your mind is, “what if he doesn’t bring it back?” You can’t even bear taking some books to certain places because of the fear of losing them.
4. You’d rather write it than say it
At that moment when your boss seems to be the devil himself, you can’t bring yourself to tell him off to his face. It’s not that you’re afraid, but you just can’t. You’d rather give him a piece of your mind in an email.
The same goes when making a complaint about a product or service to a company. You will skip the toll free line and look for the contact email instead. The birthday gifts you send out have more than the words “Happy Birthday” on the cards. You either add a poem, something funny or just…something more.
5. You know good writing when you see it
Even though you think you’re not good enough, you have good taste for writing. You appreciate writing that’s constructed expertly. Sometimes, you read a sentence and paragraph repeatedly not because of what is written but how it’s written. And when you come across something amazing, you smile.
6. You observe and create stories about people
Your eyes are never in one place. While everyone else is chattering away, you’re silently watching people’s actions. Sometimes you’re caught staring. At other times, you’re making up mental stories without anyone taking notice.
7. You see every experience as a goldmine
To you, nothing is a waste. Whether you get soaked in the rain, or your dog playfully chases your neighbor's 6-year-old son down the street, it’s something to write about.
While others feel dejected by certain happenings, you’re not because to you, it’s something extra to add to your diary.
8. You value your journals over shoes
You could discard your old shoes and even give some off to charity, but your filled up journals? Never! Not even in your second life. As long as a book has a sentence you wrote, the last thing you want to do is throw it away.
9. You see writing as a form of therapy
For you, putting words on paper is therapeutic. Whenever you feel angry, lonely or just depressed, your best friend isn’t the bottle, but that piece of paper next to you. If days pass without you writing something down, your emotions could go berserk.
At this point, you know it’s time to go back to your first love.
10. You are curious about your environment
Your sensitivity is at its peak. You know when the regular dog is not at the park, or when people start to act differently. Sometimes you take interest in things and objects that are often overlooked by others.
That’s a trait that not everyone has. You’re always given the advice to “forget about it,” but you just can’t.
11. You love listening to your thoughts
Thinking comes naturally to you. While others try as much as possible to avoid it, you embrace it. “Why do you think so much?” is probably a question you’re often asked. The truth is, you don’t have an answer to that because you just do it!
12. You cherish every compliment
No, you don’t get proud when people praise you, but you fall in love with the people who do. Whenever someone tells you how great a writer you are, you replay that moment in your head several times.
You go back to the piece you were praised about and read it over and over again, like you were trying to search out the reason for the compliment. This propels you enough to write even more.
13. You believe you can be better
Whenever you see someone who writes better than you, something wakes up on your inside. “If he can write like that, I can too”. Sometimes, this could lead to you trying to imitate his style.
But this doesn’t last for long as sooner or later, you find your voice and get better at your craft.
14. You magically launch into a writing frenzy
At first writer’s block hits you and all you see is a blank page. Minutes later, you’re scribbling away like you’re being chased by your thoughts. At times, you only planned on doing a half page write up.
But after some minutes, you’re already two pages deep. And you’re not even halfway there.
15. You never stop writing
Even if you had the most demanding job that took up most of your waking hours, you would always find time to pen something down. Even if you lost everything in this world, one of the first things you would get would be a pen and paper. How about when you sleep? Writing material is always at arm’s length. Something could pop out while you sleep…so why not write it down.
Doubting your ability to write is completely normal. Even Stephen King once felt he was a terrible writer. Yet he wrote some of the best novels–and is still writing! You’re not alone. And you’re not like everyone else either.
You’re unique. You’re special. You’re a writer!
#writer,#lanre solarin,#15 reasons you're a writer,#writing,#storyteller,#novelist,#want to write,#learn to write
The wine industry loves to talk about aging and collecting wine because drinking a really old wine has a romantic allure. An old wine gives us a way to re-experience a year that was special in our memory, maybe the year of our birth or anniversary, or drink a wine that comes from a time we may never even have lived.
On top of this, when a wine that was meant to be aged is drunk, the aging of the wine helps create flavors and textures we would never have experienced had the wine not undergone aging.
Only 1% of all the wine produced is meant to be aged.
A well-cared-for cast iron skillet will stay with you longer than a life partner—and if you use it properly, it will only get better with age and time. A newly-purchased cast iron skillet, even if it's pre-seasoned, isn't going to have great nonstick qualities.
Cook with it frequently, and with some patience, you'll begin to see better nonstick results.
What does a writer have in common with wine and a cast iron skillet? Everything!
Let me make my case.
Over time, the aging of the writer helps create flavors and textures in his stories he would not have experienced had the writer not undergone aging. The patience it takes to grow and mature as a writer takes years, sometimes decades.
Less than 1% of all books written ever get published!
Don't be afraid with that statistic. You see, the true reality is nothing good happens overnight and the results for one's patience will be amazing.
Contrary to the belief that being a loner is unhealthy, I'm here to tell you that is not true. Look at the following quotes and I leave it to you to make up your own mind.
FACT- Loners tend to be more intellectual and loyal friends.
THE POSITIVE BENEFITS A WRITER ENJOYS AT BEING ALONE.
If you are serious about writing and you are alone then Christmas Day it is a gift to yourself. Get up early, make yourself a great breakfast, grab your laptop, and take yourself somewhere, or your journal, or a pad of paper and a pen.
Go somewhere, the park, the beach, a lake, anywhere. If it's too cold sit in your car and type away. Enjoy the solitude because you're really not alone. Just because you may be on your own does not mean that you do not owe yourself a great day. Personally, I have plenty of characters in my head to share the day.
So for all of you writers out there, HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND ENJOY A CREATIVE DAY.
You're stuck no ideas are coming to you for any kind of new story. What are you going to do?
In a previous post I alluded to the fact that writer's block is no more than a state of mind. If you ever are sitting with a writer who tells you he has nothing to write, he has given up. Why, because there are too many ideas floating out in the world waiting to be kick started.
Here are some examples I found interesting enough to write short stories with. I will do so in the coming weeks, but let's look at them.
1. This wasn't the first time I had been trapped inside a _________ , but it was the first time I had to escape in order to save a life. Here's what happened.
My first thought was a refrigerator, then I thought about trapped in a car that fell into the river. There are several words that would be good. Try one and see what happens.
2. Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.
I think this will be very interesting. My first thought is that the last item is almost impossible to complete, but it can be done. Is there enough time that is the question?
3. You find a pen that can forge anyone's signature. Science Fiction or Fantasy at its best. Easily a short 2-5,000 word story.
4. "My dad gave me three life rules to live by: 1. (fill in the blank), 2. (fill in the blank) and 3. (fill in the blank). The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain."
I don't know, for me this one is the most challenging, but worth the effort if for no other reason than for the exercise.
It all started with me typing "writer prompts for writers" and the game began. I stumbled across Pinterest where I found these four prompts. Go on and try it, test yourself and get into thinking about writing.
#writing,#writing prompts,#short story,#writer's block,#how to get out of writer's block
One night last week I was editing my next book, "Layers of Deceit," a crime novel. I had written a scene where detectives have been called in because a body had been discovered in an apartment fire under suspicious circumstances. The first draft had the detectives questioning a man as the body was being brought out on a stretcher.
Then I wondered if I had made a mistake. I had.
If a body is found and foul play is suspected a special arson investigator is called to the scene. I ended up adding a scene where the arson investigator along with the homicide detective examine the charred body in a burned out bedroom.
What happened? It enriched the story even though it was a grizzly couple of paragraphs. It enriched the dialog and the story because one of the detectives immediately suspected the boyfriend who denied the accusation. The other detective wasn't so sure. HENCE: Conflict
What did I do? I went on The Web via the Internet and typed; "What is procedure if a body is found in an arson?" The results led me to an online Forensics Magazine and gave me the information I needed to enhance the scene, the characters, improve the dialog, and the story.
For those of us who are still Neanderthal's as I am with regards to the information highway let me help those people specifically. There is The Internet and then there is The World Wide Web.
The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. It connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with any other computer as long as they are both connected to the Internet. Information that travels over the Internet does so via a variety of languages known as protocols.
The World Wide Web, or simply Web, is a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. It is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet. The Web uses the HTTP protocol, only one of the languages spoken over the Internet, to transmit data. Web services, which use HTTP to allow applications to communicate in order to exchange business logic, use the the Web to share information. The Web also utilizes browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, to access Web documents called Web pages that are linked to each other via hyperlinks. Web documents also contain graphics, sounds, text and video.
Every writer I know is constantly going through " a process," in which they are growing and improving their craft. For me, this is book number six. Personally, an improvement over my first book published eighteen months ago.
I wrote the outline of this upcoming book first and left it alone for several months. When I revisited the story I wrote the story, 51,000 words in two months. Walked away and now after publishing two other books I have begun editing and refining the story.
Any question I have I turn to my research library, The Web, and usually find the answers I need. If you are not using it, please do so. It is a massive amount of information at your fingertips. As a writer it is invaluable.
I would not be exaggerating when I say you could write a whole novel with just ten questions. Go ahead, think of a story and ask ten questions and then go to the Web. (Examples: Settings, names of characters, time periods, personality traits, procedures, weapons and tools, clothing styles, weather, inventions, science fiction.) The list, as we all know, could easily be five times that number.
I write fiction not "How To," books. That means my audience wants to be entertained, which means I am a constant work in progress attempting to deliver the best stories I can write. I think of myself as entertainer working the small clubs. This is where we learn the most.
The beginning while we are struggling.
#The Internet,# The World Wide Web,#research library,#Writing fiction,#Writing,#Arson Investigation,#Become a writer,
“To all the talented young men, (I substitute people), who wander about feeling that there is nothing in the world for them to do, I should say: 'Give up trying to write, and, instead, try not to write.
Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a laborer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an existence in which the satisfaction of elementary physical needs will occupy almost all your energies.'
I do not recommend this course of action to everyone, but only to those who suffer from the disease which Mr Krutch diagnoses.
I believe that, after some years of such an existence, the ex-intellectual will find that in spite of his or her efforts they can no longer refrain from writing, and when this time comes their writing will not seem to them futile.”
As one's life marches forward in time, it fills up with a library full of experiences. Some good and some not, however, each one is a story. What better research than to write about something experienced firsthand.
It could be something as simple as a family outing buying their first dog or a day at the beach. It could also be an experience of hiking and becoming lost in the wilderness, shipwrecked, breakups, first dates, love, hate, disappointment, training for a marathon, or war, dealing with illness, college life, corporate life, afterlife, panning for gold, risking it all on one roll of the dice.
The list is endless. Even when you think have nothing to write about how many people have you met in your life? Ask questions, listen to their stories.
I once talked to a Homicide Detective, and it was fascinating. I listened to a man who has been in the United States for less than ten years, emigrating from the Middle East. His first job was five miles from his where he lived and because he needed money to take care of his family, to save, he walked to and from work six day's week, every week for one year. Most of the time during the night to get to work at 6 AM. I knew a woman once who was a successful stage entertainer and now works in an office as a bookkeeper.
Everyone that you meet has memories, both sweet and bitter. As a writer it is your job to tell those stories, whether fiction or non-fiction.
Of course the longer you're walking around the more you experience. When you sit in front of your computer and think you have nothing to write, read stories on the Internet.
Filter through the "fake news" or not, but never think you have nothing to write about.
THE ONLY REAL WAY TO BECOME A WRITER IS TO WRITE
#Bertrand Russell,#imagination,#writer's block,#live life,#life's stories,#short stories,#dream,#Possibilities