Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Writing a book, romancing the keyboard.

If you are like me, the dream of writing a novel has been in your head for months or possibly years. I know I had wanted to write one ever since I was a kid.

Thinking about it can be overwhelming, can't it? "How am I going to be able to write that much?" "Will I be able to write interesting, effective dialog?" "Will people care about my characters?" "How will I be able to tie everything together?" "How do I even start?" are many of the questions that may run through your head.

Some people start by making a list of characters, their traits and an outline of the story. Others just start with an idea and let it develop. I think the best way to do it is to think about your personality.

Are you a planner? Do you feel more comfortable with having all the details down before doing something? Then by all means make an outline and a list of characters.

However, if you are totally right brained, like me, you go more by emotion and intuition. That means you simply have to discipline yourself to write!

Either way, once you have decided which type of person you are, and have taken the appropriate action (or lack thereof), the next step is simple. It is the most important step you will take.

WRITE! Seriously, don't worry about anything else. Things will fall into place, but until you have a story, nothing else matters.

If you are any early riser, get up an hour earlier. Or, write one hour per day after work, before you go home, if you can, do that at work (after you are done with the work day). Write one hour a day in the evenings instead of watching mind numbing reality tv. Or, write for one hour before bed if you are a night owl. But you MUST discipline yourself to do that if you truly want to be an author.

For me, I worte one hour per day after work from Monday to Friday. Sometimes I wrote on the weekends, but not always. I simply promised myself that one hour a day during the five work days. Nothing, and I mean nothing, took me away from that hour. Sure, if I had a doctor appointment or something, I would have to have that hour later. But I made sure I used that hour to write every single work day. The hour goes by before you know it. Sometimes I kept going.  I just could not stop.

As you write, don't worry so much about if it makes sense, if the dialog is crisp, of if you have good sentence structure. Just write! Keep going from the place you left off the day before. Don't stop to correct the previous work until your first draft is finished. The point is to get the first draft written! That is inspire you to keep going.

Once it is written, you will go back and make it sing. We will talk more about the process in future blogs.

For now, make a promise to yourself that you will commit to that one hour and start making your dream come true!

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