• What is your passion?
• When you write, what is it that stirs up your juices?
• Is what you have to say worthy to be read?
• Is your diatribe worth my time?
• If you are writing a novel, why?
I launched a young lady on a path towards a career in writing this weekend. She has a job that is far from disinteresting, and in fact, she has a story to tell. She was trying to figure out the details.
When a child is confronted with cleaning up his room, he or she generally looks at the job as insurmountable especially if “everything” is out of place. Writing as in life if we were correctly raised we learned to break the impossible task into small bites. Much like project management.
If I ask you to go build an airport, where would you start?
In writing, we can analyze ourselves into paralysis. One “author,” wrote that she writes one sentence properly and will not go to the next until it is perfect. “Paralysis.”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Go….
Obviously, I am not going to steal that. I wrote it to make a point.
When I start a novel, I have an idea I want to pursue. Whether it is time travel or discovering a derelict spacecraft hidden away for eons, I start with just a thought.
I keep the first page which I label a manifest in which I put notes of who is who and where and so forth as the story progresses.
Some people storyboard their books which is ok if that is how you write. My point to her and to you is that there is no right or wrong way as long as the final “deliverable” is a book worth reading.
People had been giving this girl so much advice. So much so that not one word is on paper or virtual paper.
“The cold air cut through her clothes like a knife as she left the terminal headed to the shuttle. Caroline had no idea that the winters in St Paul could be so bitterly cold! “
• Who is Caroline?
• What is she doing in Minnesota in the winter time?
• Why does she not expect the weather to be so extreme?
• Where did she fly in from?
• Why is she there?
• What does she look like?
• What exactly is she wearing?
In less than three minutes I have created the opening line to a book, and I have also asked some pretty fundamental questions. We must address these and others in some future paragraphs or pages or chapters.
Take any project in bite-size pieces, stop and ask some pretty essential questions and consider your audience. Who are they?
Don’t worry about punctuation or spelling or participles when you are creative. You can always edit it later when you have the characters all playing together.
Hope that this answers some questions and helps those that want to write and not know how to get started.
One word after another is a good start.
Blogs are a great place to explore ideas and get to know others. If they follow you something about you interests them. Blogs are an excellent way to seek advice from those that follow you but, be careful about that.
Blogs are an excellent way to market your work and to practice your craft.
Don’t let blogging or marketing get in the way of your novel. The creative process is not one that can be regulated as many writers try to do.