THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER, BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
Writing a book, it sounds so romantic. Sitting at a desk or table watching the sun rise over the ocean, because you do your best work in the morning. A hot cup of coffee, some toast, your favorite music playing in the background. Wow, now it even feels romantic.
You begin and every word in every sentence is perfect. No need to re-read or edit because everything is absolutely, perfect. Sentences become paragraphs then pages followed by chapters and soon 80,000 + words are written by you, the author.
No reason to find an agent, who needs one, you did it, you wrote the perfect book. Except one minor detail seems to be going against what you pictured would be a happy ending. Other than mom and dad, aunt and uncle, a few cousins and friends, the book is not setting the literary world on fire. Uh-oh, another little problem, no one gave you feed back, no one has told you that they could not get past chapter 4. Why? Sadly the book is boring, the story is the one you always wanted to write and you did. Congratulations! But no one wants to read it.
In today's multi media stimulated world people want one thing, to be entertained and fast. That means when they decide to read a book you need to capture them in the opening few sentences and paragraphs hopefully to the very end. It needs to be "a page turner," with the following statement, "I couldn't put it down!"
Holly shit! Talk about pressure, now as a writer you are expected to write a compelling story that is entertaining, exciting, thought provoking, descriptive, along with interesting characters. I'm exhausted just writing that. Oh, even if that news weren't daunting enough there are over 3,000,000 books available on Amazon alone.
If you are like me you march uncaring into the night and often times take the road least traveled. The problem with that route is that sometimes your timeline gets screwed up and it takes a little longer than you expected. But we're tough, we can do it, and we do. If we keep our eyes open we find signposts and strangers that help guide us on our long, long journey.
I would like to share just a few with you.
These are in no particular order, but collectively they are very helpful.
Sooner or later you will be working with an editor and if they are worth anything they will help push you to a level you were not aware you could achieve. Just imagine what being the "best" at something really means. No one remembers boring and mediocre, only great.
The best way to talk about this book and its author is to copy and paste a sampling of his bio. Pretend for a moment you are interviewing Editors and your budget is under $20. You might consider Mr. Stein's book for the following reason.
Become thirsty for knowledge. Read Stephen King's: On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft. Everyone starts at the beginning, even the famous authors. They starved and struggled, but the top ones never gave up.
Another excellent opportunity, listen to James Patterson talk and teach people how to write a novel. It costs $90 and believe me, if you are serious about writing it is the best $90 you will ever spend. https://www.masterclass.com/
These are but a few suggestions. Every writer has particular way on how they go about writing a novel, but these words from Sol Stein and other resonate loudly.
"We as writers have a relationship with our readers. We owe it to them to write the most compelling and interesting stories we can."
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"But I want to write," you tell yourself. Locking yourself away you begin to write, for hours, or maybe days, but then the voices start. Maybe they are real it's your family or friends. Maybe they are the more dangerous ones, the ones inside your head. You know the ones of which I speak.
Self-doubt, fear, failure, past mistakes, why bother, and on and on the chatter. Worse yet, if you continue, then the voices inside your head ramp up the game until you give up and quit. Has that ever happened to you or am I the only one?
Writing begins with the #1 most important rule- COMMITMENT
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
GET READY HERE IT COMES- BUT BE WARNED
OKAY THAT WAS MY DISCLAIMER-
IF YOUR ARE STILL HERE THEN WE PROCEED.
As an only child, I spent part of my early years growing up in Hollywood California. My imagination was allowed to run unfettered and I was a huge fan of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Alien. I have always enjoyed adventures and science fiction with Hero's that face insurmountable odds. I have written on and off for years, but never took myself serious.
THERE IS A LESSON HERE
After commitment, being TRUE TO YOURSELF prepares you for what you are about to do.
You have chosen to become a writer and you have heard about this steep mountain known to millions of writers as, "Impossible," in an unknown country called "Surrender," whose north and south shores are touched by the most treacherous seas, "I Can't do This, and Don't Waste Your Time."
I would show you the map of where all of these pitfalls are, but there all in my head.
You approach this old grizzly looking character, he doesn't look up, but he points to an empty chair. You sit. Before you speak, he says in a gruff voice, "What do you know about writing?"
"I want to write a book. I've never done it before and I know I've got a story in me."
"You are going to die up on that mountain, most do."
"Why is that?"
"Because they're not prepared for the climb, they think it's easy. It's not, it's long hours, most of the time you hear voices and you don't know if it's the story talking to you or the devil voices."
"The devil voices?"
"YES," he screams, and everyone repeats, "The devil voices!" Then they raise their glass to the mountain.
"Go look out the window."
You stand up and as you stare through the hazy glass, you see a dark line that spans from the bottom straight up the side of the colossal mountain.
"What's that dark line?
"Oh, those are writers."
"All of them?
"What's on the other side?"
"What do you mean you don't know?"
"Those that make it, well they're the ones you could call successful. We read about them just don't hear from them that much."
"How did they make it?"
"Rumor has it, they were better prepared, plus they had some luck. Weather was good, they were diligent at learning how to climb further than most without wasting energy, became very good climbers. Tough people from what we know."
Are you ready? Are you sitting in front of your computer, or using a pad of paper and a pencil? It does not matter as long as you are ready to take up the personal challenge. Remember, it just begins with the first word on the paper. It does not have to be perfect. Begin your story.
Have you ever been guilty of putting off something that you should be doing? I know I have. Then one day either you rush around because you are under the gun to complete the task or you drop the idea completely and let it pass by. Since most of my posts are about writing why should this one be different.
I came up with this group of factual numbers to place everything in perspective so here we go!
THE OLDEST CALIFORNIA REDWOOD STILL STANDING IS 730,000 DAYS OLD. THAT IS SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND DAYS.
AND NOW COMES THE HOOK, THE REASON FOR ALL THE NUMBERS.
DID YOU KNOW THAT IF WE LIVE UNTIL THE AGE 100, THAT EQUATES TO 36,500 DAYS---THAT IS THIRTY SIX THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DAYS.
IF WE ARE ONLY REALLY PRODUCTIVE TWENTY FIVE OF THOSE YEARS IT MEANS WE HAVE 9,125 DAYS TO MAKE OUR LIVES MEANINGFUL.
THAT IS NINE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE DAYS.
THIS IS FOR EVERYONE WHO EVER WANTED TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE,
BUT HASN'T FOUND THE TIME.
I don't know about you but I remember the first time I tried to swim when I was a wee child. I got into the water, "hold your breath," the instructor yelled.
"Hold my breath," that was not going to happen. I was too young to die just because some stranger thought I could do something crazy like swim. However, after a few gentle minutes of coaching, I took the first step and held my breath under water.
Then she pushed the envelope and said, "grab your legs, hold your breath, close your eyes, and see what happens." What the hell was this person thinking?
If anyone has read my previous posts they have seen my transformation as a writer. I have shared the journey or the process over the last several months. With this post another element reveals itself on the journey.
I have always felt that my posts are not for the writer who has written a novel or two or three or more. There are so many writers int he world who have yet to discover themselves. These posts are for them. It has never my intention to dissuade anyone but to encourage everyone.
In the evolutionary process we as writers strive to write bestsellers, to entertain, to become immortals in the literary world. However, few of us succeed for a plethora of different reasons. For those who venture into the pit and want to fight and survive there is a process. Books have beginnings, middles, and ends. There is not way to get around that simple truth. It is necessary for writers when creating their masterpieces to have tools at their beck and call to help their creative process.
I have studied and read and continue to evolve. I am learning to simplify my process while creating better stories and stronger characters. I read about this and because I am a control freak I created this for myself. It is my CHARACTER SUMMARY sheet, which helps me develop living characters for my books. Below are examples of a CHARACTER SUMMARY before and one after with a character in the making. I have also created one I call GEOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY, for developing the scene.
I have a new story that I will be writing strictly here on my site from beginning to end. I story that takes place in a mythical time, in a Medieval setting. SIR GOODARD, THE FALLEN CHAMPION.
If you would like blank FREE copies of these forms in word docx I would be happy to email them to you.
If you would like blank FREE copies of these forms in word docx I would be happy to email them to you.