Writing the Great American Novel has been the dream of every writer who seriously put pen to paper. What writer never envisioned themselves as the next Earnest Hemingway?
Ironically, this vision is the first of three tips I’ll offer up as suggestions to the inspiring author. Writing a novel takes incredible endurance and strength physically, mentally, and emotionally. A writer must be willing to put other’s needs and definitely wants behind the desire to write. It can not be a task, but rather a labor of love and passion, which prompts you to get out of bed in the middle of the night and churn out pages of insight you just woke up with.
A writer, especially an unpublished one, can never have money as the main motivator when writing a novel because you will definitely fail. Money as a motivator makes one lax on exploring the tiny things which separate a good book from a great one. Great paragraphs filled with emotional descriptions of a sunset on the ocean become the sun sunk into the water. The gnawing agonizing pain a character may feel, and it may be only specific to that character not to everyone because of a hidden hurt in the past, becomes she was really hurt and couldn’t hold back the tears.
Financial gains should never enter a writer’s mind, unfortunately very few ever realize any profits from their labor, writing must be the reward. If you’re attempting to make money from your writing, freelance writer, or join one of those writing sites that contract out to people and businesses to write articles. There’s no shame in that and it’s an excellent way to pay the bills while you’re doing your serious writing.
Research, in-depth research is often overlooked by new or inexperienced writers. They have read books, watched movies, and taken college courses on writing and feel they can write powerful descriptive scenes from their imagination and their limited education and experience. They tend to think of in-depth research as a waste of time which bogs down their writing.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The in-depth research expands the world of possibilities for the writer. You can study and dissect a beautiful and detailed picture or painting of a small Mexican village and feel you can adequately describe it as a scene in the book. From the visual perspective, you very well may be able to vividly describe it for your reader, but that doesn’t make the reader experience the village as if he were there.
What about the noises, dogs, crickets, children in the distance. The smells of the village, tortillas cooking over the open flame, the smell of drying fish on the clothesline, the stench of the barn crowded with livestock.
The total experience of all the readers’ senses is what makes them feel they are actually there with the characters.
Lastly, perseverance is a must. You must be thick-skinned and able to take corrective advice without taking offense. That may sound easy, but when someone criticizes your labor of love, which you consider perfect, it’s not easy to keep emotions from overcoming logic.
Start paying attention to the little things and describing them in detail and your writing will spring to life.Read More »