These posts are an amalgamation of our Facebook page posts on writing shared over the last week. There will be more this week.
Dear Bookies – There is a saying in the business that writers must have something to say or their writing won’t make sense. Another saying is that authors write in order to know what they think about a particular issue. A good exercise to get you started is mind mapping. So often we have so much to say we don’t know where to start. Other times, we have buried our true feelings about something so deeply inside that we need time to pull them out. Try mind mapping an idea, a character, or a situation, and watch how clearly the path will unfold before you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map
Dear Bookies – I am often asked if there is a secret to writing and my reply is always “Yes! Write every day.” Even if it is 20 stolen mins in the bathroom at work, in the car parked in the driveway, late at night at the kitchen table or early in the morning as you prepare your to do list for the day. No one will make the time happen for you and even more so they will try to take it. You must guard that time ferociously. No one needs to know what you are writing, either. I promise you that this makes all the difference. Do you need to write anything specific? No. Perhaps what you are feeling at the moment, the dream you had the night before, your dreams for the future or your observations on the news that day. Just write.
Dear Writer Bookies – Use one word to describe your current WIP. Only one. Now, what is your book about? Redemption. Jealousy. Hope. Forgiveness. Faith. Regret. Discovery. Self-Worth. If you can’t answer this question for yourself then I urge you to stop writing until you figure this out. Once you have identified the word that describes your book, write it down on a piece of paper and then place that paper somewhere you will see it every time you write. This exercise is really useful in helping to push through the times when the WIP is stuck or muddled. It forces you to get to the very core of your project. So give it a try. What is your book about?
Alright Author-Bookies are you ready for another one? Main characters! Take a piece of paper and write down the names of the main characters in your current WIP but leave room under each name for some notes. Now write down several traits that describe that character. Ok? Now, how many characters share the same traits? How many characters have flaws listed? If you have used the same word to describe several of your characters (in example strong, easy going, loyal) then your characters might not be strongly developed. If you haven’t writen down any flaws then your characters might not be complex enough.