Saturday, April 19, 2014

Writing 101

Thought I would share a few of the posts from my recent blog tour for The Making of Nebraska Brown. So, in case you missed them - here's one for you. This go-round we're talking about Writing 101. Just the basics. The facts. And a little backstory for what it's worth.
About six years ago, this girl I know, I’ll call her Na├»ve Girl – NG for short – decided to write a book. A dear friend of hers wished her well and handed her a dog-eared copy of The Writer’s Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes. NG smiled, sure that SHE wouldn’t need to refer to that at all. Surely SHE would have a blessed and easy journey. NOT. And, yes. I’ll admit it. I am NG. Correction: I was once. Now I am Writer Girl. WG’s goal is to shake the sense and reality into NG. As such, I’m here to divulge the straight dope. No hold-barred. It’s like that Band-Aid. Yank it off quickly. Here goes:

You will be rejected. Many times. It will hurt. You will quit writing. You will take up golf/knitting/floral arrangements/yoga. You will fight the urge to get back at it. Don’t bother. Which brings me to my second truth –
Writing OWNS you.  Any attempts to control or contain it will be met with failure.

Reading is mandatory. Do not think for half a second of writing more than a birthday card without reading at least ten novels first. By doing so you will recognize the rhythm every story must have to be properly constructed. Pay attention to this ebb and flow and learn from it.

Don’t quit your day job. Unless you happen to happen upon that ginormous advance, which is first cousin of that infamous needle in the haystack.

Practice patience. Time moves at the speed of sloth in the publishing world. Good things can and do occur, but if you don’t like waiting, you may not be fit for this game.

NG is far behind me now, and thankfully I’m none the worse for wear. I hope these tips don’t discourage the WGs out there. A healthy dose of fact among the fiction is all I’m after. Now carry on and keep the faith – and a couple bottles of aspirin might help, too.

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