There’s a new picture of me at the end of this post. You know you want to see it. LOL
It’s Monday! Today we (I) introduce our new book. We will be romping through the pages of The Novel Writer’s Toolkit: A guide to writing great fiction and getting it published by Bob Mayer. Make sure you get your hands on a copy so we can work together learning all the wisdom on these pages. Are you ready for some fun? No? I know! Let’s go refill our cuppas and grab something substantial to nibble on…like that muffin that was calling your name. Yeah, that one. Warm it a bit in the microwave, slather on the butter. Hey- I am living vicariously through you. I am now on a strict 1400 calories a day. Do you know what that means? No muffins, doughnuts, bread, nothing deliciously sugary. Get your yummy and then tell me all about it. Please. Come on. We can roll out the reading rug together. Settle down and open your copies to Chapter 1, page 5, TOOL: Yourself.
Internal Characteristics of a Writer
I know! We are filled with coffee, loathing, and a ton of self-doubt! Or is that just me? Hum. No?! Okay.
It all begins with you, the creator of your novel. – Bob Mayer
That is some first line power right there. Way to state it Bob. Wanna know the trick to being an awesome writer…if you wanted to become a doctor you would go to college, forever, then work in the nitty gritty of the hospitals until you earn the title of Attending Physician. What does becoming a doctor have to do with writing? Practice, practice, practice. A doctor works for years and years honing their skills, yet they still practice. Why do you think they call their businesses a Practice? Cuz they are not done learning. Writing is no different. If you want to become a novelist, you must practice. The more you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, the better you will become.
Let’s take a look a John Grisham. Do you remember the book/movie The Firm? Yup, that one. He made some serious bank on that one. But, did you know the book, A Time to Kill, was written before that one? Like, years before. The point here is, don’t stop. The book you are working on now may not be the one that grabs an agent’s attention right away. It could be the next one. If someone loves your work, they look for more. Practicing your writing is your job.
Your job includes attending workshops and conferences. They are tools to put in your toolkit. You can learn the ins and outs of the business and skills of all kinds to improve your writing. I have attended several workshops and two conventions. They are worth the investment in the long run.
All this is awesome but there is one more big thing beyond writing a lot. You need to live a lot. You need to do and see and go. I know it is hard during the pandemic we are stuck in, but you can take a road trip. Look for places you haven’t been just an hour away from your home. Get lost, on purpose. Become a people watcher. Listen. One of my creepier habits when I need a shove to write is to eavesdrop. I sit in a park wearing dark sunglasses and earbuds and just listen to the world around me. The things people say and do when they don’t think you can hear or see is astounding.
Patience and Self-Discipline
If you only write when you are motivated and inspired, you will not finish. The work is 99% perspiration and only 1% inspiration. You have to write even when it is on the bottom of your list of things to do. Think about it like going to the gym. Not everyone wants to go. But we all need to be as healthy as we can be. We have to learn to do it anyway. Write anyway. You can not edit a blank page. Yes, pushing yourself to write will mean you may write crap, but you might get inspired and write something mind-blowing. If you are having real trouble digging in, go back and read through my last few weeks of blogs. They are The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray. We covered the ‘how to’ of getting started. Set a daily goal. Decide on a number of words, pages, or time. Set a place and time you will write each day. Build the habit. After a while it will become the norm in life. You will wright at this time, in that place, for this long.
Guilt- I use to feel guilty if I was just reading a novel or sitting in a coffee shop listening to bits of conversation. What I have learned is…that is work. I love when people ask what I’m reading because I read everything. Wanna know how to not write crappy? Read crappy books. Seriously. Find out what is bad and then don’t do that. Wanna know how to write a best-seller? Read them. Read them all! You have to learn that being observant is part of our work. Listening, watching, and taking notes on what we experience is all part of our workday. Daydreaming is part of our job description.
Okay, sorry, I kinda read this first chapter and just ran with my own thing. I did cover a lot of what Bob Mayer was saying, I just gave it to you in my own unique way. You love all my quirks. You can admit it. No, really, tell me you love it. LOL
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
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Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent