WRITING FOR ME series.
You want to write a book, or at least write something, but you don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick checklist for Noobie Writers on how to start writing a book:
- GET INSPIRED – Read books, memoirs or novels that you’d love to have written yourself.
- PERFECT YOUR CRAFT – Brush up on your writing
- CHALLENGE YOURSELF – Write. Join an online writing camp.
- SHARE – Sign up with a creative writing class, hold your head high, and read aloud…
This week, let’s ….
Get Inspired by reading a lot.
Then you THINK. A lot.
Pick up your favorite book and then STUDY it.
- Find out what you liked about the book. The characters? The words? The perfectly satisfying ending? What phrases in the book stood out to you? What melted you into a fit of crying jags?
Then, pick up the last book that you didn’t finish reading, in other words…a book you wanted to toss right into the sewage treatment pool at the corner of 44th Avenue and Ward.
“Must I?” Your brows knit together as you fold your arms neatly across your chest.
“Yes.” I inch closer.
Your lips quiver. “But I don’t even want to look at it!”
“But you must. You’d–”
“No! No! No!” You blurt out, shaking your head like a kid facing a spoonful of icky fever medicine. “Don’t make me do it!”
“It’s okay, it’s okay,” I say, slowly pulling behind me, a cartful of books we’ve talked about earlier in our A-Book-Within-You-discovery session.
You dart towards the door, but as you pull the knob and turn it, you find that the door is locked. Heaving, you look for another way out. But there is nowhere to run.
It couldn’t have been that bad of a story, could it? I take a big breath and say to you in a voice practiced on my kids many, many times over. “You’ll thank me for this later….”
I have my hands behind my back, fingers crossed.
This is how my mind works. I see a picture and run with it. Does yours?
So let’s get back to analyzing your least favorite book. You now have it in your hands…. (Phew!)
- Find out what you didn’t like about the book. Was the narration too long and winding? Were there too many flashbacks that took you out of the present story? Were there grammatical errors that made you stop and wished that the author had done a better job proof reading the book? Were the dialogues so mangled up that you couldn’t even figure out who was saying what? Was the character just sitting and thinking, and thinking, and thinking, but there was absolutely nothing happening?
Once you’ve identified what you liked or don’t like about a book, you’re one step closer to writing something that you would deem ‘just right’. Fingers crossed.
Good luck with your endeavor!