A Writer starting out

When I first realized that I wanted to write a book, that I had a book inside of me that wanted to be written, I bought my first book about writing.  I had studied a lot of literature in high school, and always had gotten good grades in English.I had no reason to believe I couldn’t write a book.

There was much to know.  I look through my library to find this first book and I’m not sure where it went. But it had a biliography in it and from there I bought more books about writing.  One book suggested that you pick  a writer that you want to emulate and find out what you can about them, read their writing books and find there biography.  I did that with two writers.  Eventually I moved on from this suggestion.

I kept reading books about writing.  One book showed me how to outline, even if that book was a bit dated, about 20 years old.  Things have changed. You want to write your outline, but there is so much more.  Now I have learned about structuring and trends in writing, but it has been a joy, having, if nothing else, a fine hobby.

Now I have what I think is a finished book, “More than the Bay,” with one last edit to perfect it to the best of my abilities, and my husband, who paints on a regular basis and has gone to art college wants to create my cover.We started with one idea, and are working on a second idea now.

I am proud to say I have four projects in the works right now. I have a sequel, something saucy, to the first above mentioned speculative fiction work. I also have a “Non-Romance” outlined, as my mother in law would put it, and a practice work that I have been “pantsing,” just to experiment.  Eventually it will be outlined and structured.

I’m so excited about my new “hobby,” which I work on when I go to my real job as a caretaker during the night.  That is why this site is called “Overnight Writer.” I would much rather work on my new hobby that watch television all night. Television doesn’t interest me that much, generally. No, this is much better, and hopefully I’ll have those hard copies in my hands and be able to show something substantial for my free time that I have overnight. With God’s grace, I might even make a sale.

While you’re in the midst of a story, so many things in your daily life seem to apply to it – you see something on the bus and think how you can use it. the story’s like a magnet and without it, you’d never notice all these things.

Philip Roth

The story allows us to look for all kinds of inspiration, from sources we never would have noticed.  All of this inspiration can be written on notecards and kept in a folder, some to use, some to change, some to make plot twists, and more.  Creativity is a great joy, one can build something unique that can bring others great joy. Or, it can bring something else – a feeling, a place, a memory.  Creativity brings joy to the person who creates it – she knows she has found something special, a gift, a perspective or another thing to share.

The insight that writers have cannot be overlooked, they are searching for something that will add inspiration, or an experience, to the reader. When I studied contemporary literature in High School, it meant so much to me, because there was an objective, a means, and an end point. My vision of writing has grown since then, to bigger novels, speculative novels, and epic series.  I love them all and I can’t have enough of the writer’s creations, and in turn, my own ideas.

Learn to Write

Learn to write by doing it.  Read widely and wisely.  Increase your word power.  Find your own individual voice through practicing constantly.  Go through the world with your eyes and ears open, and learn to express that experience in novels.

P.D. James

Let’s start off small.  Real small, because this is the same advice I’ve seen over and over again, ever since I began to research becoming a writer.

The advice I have been hearing is to write every day, read every day.  Editing and rewriting doesn’t count. You must practice writing every day.

This advice led me to “pants” a story that I have no idea how to end.  I also have a sequel to my WIP planned, and have been working on another outline that I can’t get out of my head.

That makes four projects.  Well I have heard somewhere  that “The road to hell os filled with WIP’s, but I disagree.  If I can be productive, I could end up with four stories. This leads to the Happy Dance, followed by coffee and chocolate.

Then there is “finding your own individual voice,” through practicing constantly.  That’s “Practicing Constantly,” and that is the only way.  Find your voice and find yourself.  Practicing Constantly means being out in the world and getting inspiration. It means taking the time every day to write, and banish that writer’s block.

So then share your experience in novels by showing, not telling. Put yourself in the scene and inside the POV character.  Research the stuff you haven’t already experienced.  I am quite sure that both you and I will get through our writing projects, whichever they are.  🙂

Don’t try to guess what sort of thing editors want to publish or what you think the country is in the mood to read. Editors and readers don’t know what they want to read until they read it. Besides, they’re always looking for something new.

William Zinsser

I had been wondering what sort of things people wanted to read when I started writing, and then someone, actually several someones, said “Write what you want to read.” This was enormously helpful, because everyone needs to find their own niche.  Not only that, but it is so much more fun to write what you want to read yourself.

I enjoy a variety of people’s writing, but it doesn’t always mean it’s what I should write.  Well, maybe I should try. There are a variety of genres’ and writers that I like but would never try to emulate. Then again, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Or is that plagarism. I hope not. My husband Todd is working on my book cover but doesn’t want it to be “like.. so and so’s” so I am stuck trying to change my cover idea or even parts of my work, which would require another edit, which takes even more time.

So with keeping to the small stuff, I’ll just worry about writing what I want to read right now, leave my cover design to my dear husband, and then worry about publishing. Have I only said ‘worry’ two times? It should be so many more. It’s amazing what you come up with when you’re self-editing.

Have a great week.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain

“Today is the first day of August.  It is hot, steamy, and wet.  It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem.  But I remember what it said on one rejection slip:  After a heavy rainfall, poems titled “Rain” pour in from across the nation.  –  Sylvia Plath

It’s kind of discouraging that we all might have the same inspiration at the same time. Hopefully some poems still get published regardless.  I have written poems about my childhood, the snow, and my dog.  Hopefully some have a ring of originality.  I hope…I hope….

Know your characters

A novelist’s characters must be with him as he lies down to sleep,and as he wakes from his dreams.  He must learn to hate them and to love them.

Anthony Trollope

Well this sounds like fun at first, having a slumber party with your characters, until you realize you must hate them too.  But yes, know your characters, know how they live, what they do every day in life, what their backstory is.  I think I like that the best, because if you know them and they are real to you, there is no limit to their actions and your story will write itself, with the help of your outline and structuring to guide you.  When I wrote my first novel I felt like my characters came alive.  I had so much fun and it was so unexpected, too.  I know your characters are to be flawed, so as to relate to your readers, that is the easy part as it happens so naturally that no one, not one of us, is perfect.  Flaws are the easy part.  You can hate them for that, or for the rotten things they do to each other.  Either way you can.

I know it can be difficult to craft a character, but if you do your research, there are so many questionnaire lists to help you develop your characters that it can really get fun, and you can use one list for one character but another list might suit another character better.  I really enjoy developing my characters, you can put some fun twists into their background and never say what it is to the reader, but it’s part of him!  Or perhaps you can reveal this piece later in the series or toward the end of the work if you have resolved the piece of the character’s back ground.

Happy writing and it’s time for me to get back to my stories.