What happens after the first draft?
I didn’t know there was supposed to be a second draft when I began my first novel as a wee seventh-grader. I thought you write the story, tweak it for grammar, send it off to the publisher, and become a bestseller. Simple.
The first draft is just the beginning. The real writing comes with revisions. The problem is, how on earth do you do that?
Continue reading “How to Write the Second Draft”
It is a truth universally acknowledged that writing a book is hard. It takes time, patience, blood, sweat, tears, and coffee. When the going is rough, we doubt ourselves and want to chuck our computers out the window. When the going is good, we doubt ourselves and wonder if we should chuck our computers all the same.
A good book is a balance of pretty prose, developed plots, intriguing openings, satisfying resolutions, realistic characters, and more, all swept together in a mess of ideas that are easier to imagine than actually write. And that’s where many writers get stuck.
Continue reading “Pep Talk: Write Garbage”
While creating a story it’s critical to know your audience, and thereby, your genre. Although we writer folk value creative expression over a business outlook, we must know our market to get published. This series will analyze the various book genres and how they pertain to storytelling.
Continue reading “Behind the Genre: An Introduction”
Bible or codex, call it what you want. You need somewhere to store all of the scribbles for your novel. I call mine an almanac.
It’s very easy to lose papers in a shuffle. You can have a great idea for a scene, quickly write it on a napkin, and then someone throws it away. Now, what was that great idea again? It’s gone forever.
Or you could have a sketch of your villain or a list of his descriptions, and when you are writing his scene, you forget what color eyes he had. Were they blue or grey? Wait, you wrote that down somewhere… but that paper is nowhere to be found. Now you have to read through the entire manuscript to see if you mentioned his eyes or just write it whichever way to edit it later.
Continue reading “Why You Need a Book Bible For Your Novel”
There’s always a story behind the story.
Writers don’t write because they have nothing better to do. They write because there is a story they must tell. It’s a difficult craft. It involves discipline and motivation to sit for hours on end, typing words that might never be published. There’s no guts or glory, or a guarantee of success. There’s only hope in what they can accomplish and the fears and doubts that accompany it.
No one hears the author’s story. It is usually hidden behind their work. Yet today I’d like to tell mine. There’s something that changed my life I’d like to share in the hope it will change yours.
Continue reading “How Neil Gaiman’s ‘Make Good Art’ Speech Inspired My Writing Career”
Writers have a strange name in today’s media. In romantic stories, they are depicted as tortured artists, struggling to get their big break. Their clothes are disheveled and their hair is a mess. They moan over their typewriter, crumbling pages and throwing them onto the floor covered by papers and takeout boxes. One day, they find someone who becomes their muse and suddenly their book gets published and their dreams come true.
On the flip side, in horror stories, the writer is a middle-aged man who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Either he is tortured by the supernatural antagonist or he goes psycho. Fun for everyone.
Then there are the famous writers in the real world whose books get turned into movies. We don’t know much about them except that they are loaded.
These three examples lead to a lot of misconceptions about writers.
Continue reading “Top 10 Writer Stereotypes that are Totally Wrong”
We all know the feeling. We sit at a desk with our computers or notebooks, ready to write all the words, except the words aren’t coming. It feels as if there is a mental block stopping you from writing. It’s uncomfortable — sometimes painful — to watch the blinking cursor, mocking your helplessness. This feeling can continue for days, weeks, months, even years.
Continue reading “How to Beat Writer’s Block”
“Oh, I would totally write if I ever had the time,” said many non-writers.
That’s why I call them non-writers.
“Ho hum, I have nothing else to do with my life so I’ll write a book,” said no writer ever. In fact, some writers find this excuse insulting to the sacrifices they made to accomplish their writing goals.
Here’s the hard truth: Nobody has time for writing. We all have jobs, hobbies (which don’t include writing), families, friends, social engagements, and life requirements like sleep, food, doctor appointments, and carpools. So how are books written?
Continue reading “How to Create a Writing Space”