September 18, 2015
If you staring at this page, there’s a good chance you’re a writer, or have dreams of whipping out that first (best selling) novel. Excellent, nice to have you aboard! Grab a cup of Joe, and fall into the writer’s alternative universe. That’s the one where you talk to someone about writing, and they don’t immediately glaze over, and then go on and on and on about the sale on organic papaya at the local Trader Joe’s.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet, with an actionable task everyday that will guarantee that within a year, you’ll have a novel-length manuscript. Are you ready? No need to put down that coffee.
We’re starting with one word: Kindle.
Does that sound familiar? Kindle is not a tablet. Kindle is millions of electronic novels, novellas, shorts, self help books and more that reside on amazon.com. Next to the flush toilet, it may be the greatest invention known to mankind.
You do not need a Kindle device to use the Kindle App. You can use it with any computer, tablet, iPad and smart phone on the planet. If you have the Kindle App, or even a Kindle you’re ahead of the game.
Go now and download the Kindle App for whatever device you own. If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you are long overdue. Get it now!
Kindle books are available from 99 cents and up. Most of the novels I download are in the $2.99-$4.99 range. Because to write, you must first READ. Read, read, read read. Did I say read? YES!
Once you have your Kindle app, or if you have it already, there is a fantastic book about writing that is fun and easy to understand. Technically, it’s about screenwriting. However the concepts with regard to story, pacing, characters, title, and more, are DEAD ON.
Did I say it was fun and easy? Because honestly, most of the writing books out there are about as exciting as watching paint dry. Exactly the opposite of what you need to feel when you’re writing a killer novel. You need to feel energized, pushing the envelope, busting that keyboard with power strokes that will have it pleading for a break. Novels today are about SPEED, MOVEMENT, CONFLICT, TWISTS, TURNS and plain old, WTF just happened!
Save The Cat!
That’s it for today, dear writer.
September 22, 2015
I hope you had a chance to read Save the Cat. Whatever you plan to write, nothing happens until you sit down at the keyboard. How much time should I write? Should I write everyday? I'm clueless... How do I even start.
Let's start with the last one. "I'm clueless. Still, I want to write."
If you're writing fiction, the best way to start is with a short story. Let's make it 500 words. For a short story you need a beginning, a middle, and the end. It does not matter if your story is 500 words, or 500,000. If your first paragraph sucks, no one will read the balance. Readers don't care about the background of your characters, the weather, a sunrise or sunset-at least in the first paragraph.
Start with action. Start with a line that grabs the reader, and won't let them go. Do not warm up your engines.
Here is an example of a grabber.
"If I'd known that weekender blind date would end up with me in jail, charged with First Degree Murder, I probably would have passed on it."
Start with something like this, and do not let the reader go!
September 24, 2015
Writers always run short on time. With work, family and social commitments, how does a writer find time to write? The answer is YOU HAVE TOO. Find an hour a day, everyday that is set aside for writing. For me, it's the first thing I do in the morning, (after coffee). Once I made finishing my novel the most important thing I did during the day, the word count exploded. If you want to publish a professional quality novel, you can not treat writing like a hobby!