Once upon a time (less than 500 years ago) I was trying to find my creative writing gene , but it was having coffee and wouldn’t answer my phone calls! Although I bribed it with lots of R&R and cookies, it remained in the coffee shop tapping on the window laughing.
I do lots of writing, but it’s mostly for others. The ironic thing that I’ve come to realise is, the more writing that I do for others (ghost writing,) the less of a writer I feel and more of a ghost.
( Minus the pale complexion, almost.)
So, something had to change..
It all started with a taxi driver and a beret. Book title maybe? Thank me later.
Whilst taking my Nan for a meal one night, I got into conversation with the taxi driver. I like to find out the story behind people you see! After finding out what he did in his spare time (vintage car dealer.) The subject of my profession came up. I wasn’t obviously giving out my love for writing because he said that I looked like a secretary (whatever that means.) His eyebrow twitched. A lot.
After much convincing (myself more than him) that I was creative I decided to do something about my doubts.
The anecdote to this story was I then went and bought a beret. It’s fine looking like a secretary but I wanted to look more artistic. What’s that saying about dressing for who you want to be or for the job that you want?
Berets help me to associate with artistic professions. Images of painters and poets always spring to mind, sprawled out on the hot Tuscan streets with easels and pondering thoughts.
Any way… It’s working, because soon after I set up this blog and have become more of a writer for myself than a ghost for others!
(Insert creative famous beret wearing person here.)
Now for the main topic of this post. Although I’d love to tell you about all of my beret compliments such as, I apparently have a hat head.
My top tips for book writing
Hopefully you will have read my other post on writing. If not, in short – I’ve a short attention span (see what I did there?) So writing books seems to be a challenge for me albeit in the blood line, it doesn’t come as natural to me as article writing!
Since writing ‘that’ post, I dubbed myself in because I haven’t picked up a pen much. I’m happy to say that it’s not been completely quiet behind the scenes, as I’m one of those writers that goes in search of inspiration to kiss me!
I’ve been learning…
K. I. S. S
(I’ll avoid the black and white face paints.)
This is an old marketing acronym of keep it simple silly. Sounds simple right? In a nut shell, I am avoiding all fancy words, sentence construction, grammar and the rest of the shenanigans – so that I can just get the story down on digital paper.
This means, not editing or adding anything during the first draft. It’s advice that I’ve been given off fellow writer friends. They tell me if I start to edit now, I won’t get to the end.
I believe them because I’ve done it my way before and have ended up with 3 unfinished books.
That said, editing is my biggest challenge because it’s something that I’m used to doing after every 500 words. Which actually brings me on to my next tip.
Chapters bring all sorts of associations for me such as : long hours, complicated plots, lots of re – editing and loads of words!!
I’m doing what a writer friend of mine has advised me to do, and that’s seeing every chapter like an article in terms on length. Also I think chapters have the same structure as articles (kind off.)
I’ll explain why. Every article should open with a question, satisfy the question and then leave a few thoughts for the reader to make their own questions up. Good chapters do that too ! Giving you enough information to gain clarity but then leaving cookie crumbs to entice you to read on further.
The word length will obviously get longer in my further drafts. Lets just say that I’m getting over my commitment issues (in this area of my life any way.)
Even if it’s for just 5 minutes at a time. Putting it down is probably the best way of forgetting it or putting it into that box that I call ‘I’ll do it later – wink- wink.’ Prior to putting my book down, I was experiencing a bit of the old writer’s block but I carried on like this :
She picked up a cup and looked out of the window. He raise the question that she was hoping he wouldn’t ask.
I call this note writing, setting the scene and what happens in it. Portrayed In a VERY basic 5-year-old (unlike my usually 7-year-old ) style. So that I can just get through it!
Be on the look out for inspiration
I’m blessed to know and to have known such characters in my life. Mainly it’s good, quirky and funny nothing the opposite because I’m not that kind of writer!
So with this knowledge in mind, I use these people in my books – I don’t change their names ( time better spent elsewhere) and sometimes I merge other personalities in there too. I suppose you could say that might make my plots and people rather limited. But, it just gives me to motivation to get out there and experience life for the better.
I will only write about what I’ve experienced from people, as this really helps me to make my characters deep enough to care about, and give them substance.
I’ll change all names when it’s published… (maybe)
The same goes for setting scenes. If I’m out and I see something that I think would be good to put in a chapter, then I’ll note it down. I’ll write how it made me feel, what it looked like and anything that stands out. The same goes for anything that I see on the internet in picture or video form although, I have a better connection when I experience it myself first hand. But as they say, write about what you want to manifest in your life!
Doing something different
It’s the oldest trick in the book and something I use often.
If something is not working then try something else. I know when I really need to write, by forcing it, just makes me go blank. As I currently write this, I’ve a load of blogs to complete but I just can’t get the motivation. So this is my doing something different.
At other times it’s taking photos, or going for a walk. It really helps.
Right, so tonight, I will write. That’s what writers do, write, right?
Thanks for reading