On writing… where to begin

A year or two ago I wrote a few posts regarding the how-tos of writing. I decided to offer my own two cents on the subject after a book signing where quite a few people asked me some basic questions: How do you write? How do you get published? It seems a lot of people are wannabe writers. I’ve decided to offer advice once again with the hope that I can find something useful to say. 🙂

But how do you get to “wannabe” to “being”? Sounds almost philosophical. 😉

First I’ll ask this: Do you want to write? No… Better question: Do you need to write?

I’ve found that most writers do so because they have something to say–something they just can’t bottle up inside. They have stories playing out in their minds, with plots and characters in a wide array of settings. My first scenes in a new story often resemble a movie trailer, but it doesn’t have to be visual image in your head. Everyone is different and therefore the creative process varies.

The first step towards becoming a writer is very simple. If you have an idea: write it down. Don’t worry about the words you use, at first. Don’t worry about imagery, form or synonyms. The main thing is to get your idea, your story onto paper… or the computer screen.

Once you write down as much as you can, then you can go back and make it pretty. But even then, you should always limit how much time goes into editing. Save the bulk of that for the final rough draft.

Now don’t be impatient. I said to write down the idea. My beginnings are often a scene or two — sometimes from the middle of the story. Sometimes I don’t even know where the image is going to play. But you have to get that idea down on paper before you lose it. You have to start so you can finish.

So get moving! The world has plenty of room for great stories. We want to hear yours.

Now while you’re doing that… I have some work of my own to do. 😉

to be continued

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