How to write

6. 40 Words on Grammar.

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Articles, How to write, News | Comments Off on 6. 40 Words on Grammar.

#6. How to write your best selling novel, by a best selling author. If it feels right, start your sentence with and. And starting it with but is okay too. But, as I said, only if it feels right. (Your high school English teacher who taught otherwise didn’t know shit from fava beans). Please, though, don’t forget your commas. Like doesn’t make sense without them. Next: #7: The nuts and bolts of the writing...

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7. The nuts and bolts of the writing process.

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Articles, How to write, News | Comments Off on 7. The nuts and bolts of the writing process.

#7. How to write your best selling novel, by a best selling author. While any number of people will tell you they have a great idea for a book (yes, yes, we’ve established that), a reasonable percentage of folks are aware that getting started ain’t easy. Indeed, as Stephen King said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” (Actually, and not surprisingly, Stephen King has said a lot of memorable things about writing. One of my favorites is, “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” He’s right. It is. Bigly.) The biggest enemy you’ll encounter when it comes to getting the job done is procrastination. It appears in all kinds of forms, many of which are completely underhanded and subversive like, “Oh, it’s gonna rain. I’d better go clean that gutter.” Or Ding! “Look, another email and this one has an exclamation mark beside it. Better open it.” Or, “Damn, I have a cold and can’t concentrate.” Or, “Hey, it’s Christmas Day.” Whatever the excuse is, stop. What you need to do is focus. It’s as easy and as difficult as that (and your kids have plenty of Christmases ahead of them, right? What’s the big deal?) “Write drunk. Edit sober.” – Ernest Hemmingway To get your book written, you will have to employ some hard and fast rules and stick to them. Every writer who manages to complete a manuscript more or less every year will tell you they are very disciplined – they have to be to stick to that schedule. Break it down. Your average novel is around 120,000 words. That’s 120,000 divided by 11 months (forget December. If you’re married with kids, it gets swallowed completely by the monster called Christmas. Yes, I know, bah humbug). That’s around 11,000 words you have to write each month. Or around 3,000 words a week. You can keep the math going yourself to get a daily word count. It doesn’t seem so onerous. But miss a few days here and there and the word count has to go up if you’re to stay on track rather than slide down the slippery slope. When I’m focused and working on a novel at the exclusion of everything else — something I’m less able to do these days for a number of reasons — I look to bank around 2000 words a day on the hard drive. That’s 10,000 a week, 40,000 a month, etc. It’s kind of Herculean when I look at it on paper. It’s a hell of a pace to keep up, but I managed it for around ten years. In fact, I once wrote a novel from go to whoa in four months. But then I developed a deep vein thrombosis, which became a pulmonary embolism, which put me in intensive care for 3 weeks and should have killed me. It’s impossible to keep that kind of pace going. These days, I’m happy if I save anywhere upward of 1200 words a day. If I’m working on another project (like this one, for example), I will go back to my novel daily and at least try to advance the story. Even if it’s to read the last chapter and edit it. Invariably I get sucked into the story and add to it also – that’s just the way I work. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -Douglas Adams And just to put to the sword one particularly onerous excuse I’ve heard people yammer who have yet to write their book — but will someday, they assert —...

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4. Send your empathy muscle to the gym.

Posted by on Apr 2, 2017 in Articles, How to write | Comments Off on 4. Send your empathy muscle to the gym.

Empathy is to the writer what a spirit level is to a builder. It’s very difficult to construct a story that won’t fall over without it; an essential tool of the trade

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3. Character, and a little more about plot.

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 in Articles, Blog, How to write | Comments Off on 3. Character, and a little more about plot.

Character before plot? Plot before character? Chicken before egg? I’ve come down on the character side of the coin because I think it’s true that people remember characters more clearly and evocatively than they ever remember plot

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2. Do you have a backbone?

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in Articles, Blog, How to write | Comments Off on 2. Do you have a backbone?

Write out your book first in outline. Knowing the journey your characters will take – the beginning, the middle and the end – is too critical to ignore.

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1. What’s your idea for your book? But first, what’s an idea?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Blog, How to write | Comments Off on 1. What’s your idea for your book? But first, what’s an idea?

Having an idea is fundamental to the writing process. Without one, trust me, all you’ll be doing is corralling a bunch of words on the page and hoping they lead somewhere cohesive. As they say, good luck with that.

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