I answer many of the comments and recently rounded up more fun ones to respond to. Here we go.
POPOOLA ABAYOMI asked:
PLAESE HELP ME KNOW HOW TO WRITE
Um, no. Not until you at least spell the first word correctly and turn the caps off. (odds are 50/50 this post was written by my dog, Max, playing a practical joke on me).
hey im 15 and im writing a book and i was wondering what you do when u get writers block because im getting it alot now im on my 1050th page of my book, its good so far i think and i was just wondering if you had any tips on how to get rid of writers block or on how to get inspiration? great article by the way lots of help :D
If that’s not a typo, and you have 1050 pages, your problem is not writers block my friend. You may even have writers anti-block. When you’re in the hundreds of pages it’s a good idea to stop for a few minutes and think about plot and structure. Or find an editor to read some of what you’re written.
I am a surgical RN,,and I know nothing about writing a book,,but I want to write one related to things that are important and maybe useful to others (nothing to do with the medical field), my concerns is how to start the book, do i do a outline first or do I just jump in a start writing and organize later,,what program should I use on my pc???
There is no single way to do this and everyone works differently. Try writing an outline. If you don’t like that, try jumping in. Personally I like outlines. It helps me sort out my thinking and gives a rough structure to aim for, but I’m always willing to abandon the outline when it feels right. It’s also a good barometer for how clear my thinking is, since if I can’t list ten or twelve ideas, or points, or plot notes, it’s unlikely I’ll have enough for an entire chapter, much less a book. But many writers work the other way. The important thing is you try something, and if it doesn’t work, try something else. There are plenty of gimmicky books that offer other methods too.
That was great, I decided I will make a film instead.
Hmmm. I actually think making films is harder than writing books, but perhaps I should keep my mouth shut.
I have a wife and a son and while I think others would enjoy my stories would I even be able to get published on a low end well enough to pay the bills persay? I know it’s a question asked quite often and I’ll be doing a bit more searching and I may turn up some answers I just would like to hear it from someone who has been there.
Assume not. And for those story writers who do earn enough to pay the bills it takes years or decades to earn enough credibility and audience for that to happen. It’s certainly possible, but the odds are against it, especially if you’re talking about short stories. Write for other reasons, but do write. You’ll learn much about yourself just by trying.
thanks for the article. I love to write stories, that is in my head i do. I can imagine so many different places, situations, and stories. However, when I sit down to write them out or pick up paper and pen to write it out, I can’t seem to word it right. At least, not all of what i wanted to write. I have great openers, the first chapter, so to speak comes so naturally. I can do an outline of what I want to say, how I want the story to go, but, when it comes to actually writing the whole thing out I get stuck.
and Janet asked:
The problem i’m having is this , it’s all in my head, getting it on paper is the hard part. I started writing one evening about four months ago, and got bugged down with it. Telling the story is very easy ,but putting it in the form of a book i’m having struggles.
Ha! Welcome to the torture of being a creative. There are thousands of musicians who can hear songs in their heads, but can’t make it sound right on the piano or guitar. Painters who imagine canvases in their dreams they can never replicate in the day. The discipline of creative work is learning how to close that gap, over time, through the mastery of craft (See How to find your voice). There is no shortcut. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, it feels that way for most creative people most of the time. The difference is those who fight through and keep working learn to close the gap. Or perhaps simply make excellent work others love, even if it never perfectly matches what the creator had in their mind (See Why you fail at writing and How to get good at anything).
How do you get pass the fear? All I keep thinking is that I will be laughed at and think my book stupid.
Weren’t you afraid to leave this comment? You did write it after all, despite the fact I could call you stupid. A book is just a collection of 8,000 or so sentences. If you can write one you can write 8000. When anyone laughs at your book, just say “ok, where is yours?” Then when they start to make up some excuse for not having one, hit them in the face (with your book).
Kim, who perhaps did not read the post, asked:
I know I can write; I live and breath to write. What completely douses my enthusiasm are the odds of getting published. That thought takes the wind right out of me!
To hell with publishers then. Go to kinkos. Go to lulu. If you are obsessed with someone else publishing your book your problem isn’t writing, it’s your ego. Self publishing gives you control over the odds.
If the truth be told writing is natural. It cannot be taught. Thats why there’s a word called TALENT. If its not in you no matter how you force yourself it wont be as good as the naturals.
Who cares? The coolness of writing is you can revise. If you are willing to put in effort writing gets better as you work with it. I’d agree with you perhaps for figure skating or opera, but the tools for writing are available to all. And besides, name a talented writer who didn’t work. Name a natural. I’d bet you they didn’t see their process, discipline or effort as natural. They’d describe it, much like I did in the original post, as work.
The first is write the beginning.
write the end and then fill in the blanks !
As silly as this sounds, the first question I ask people when they ask about writing books is this: Have you written a page? And when they say no, I suggest perhaps their problem isn’t with writing books, it’s with writing a page. If you can’t write a page, don’t worry about books, worry about paragraphs.