I just recently read a book about writing as a Sacred Art. If you are a writer, you understand that. Writing isn’t just something you do in your spare time. It’s a vocation and the need to write is as strong for a writer as painting is for a painter.
Writing is healing, cathartic and as necessary as sunlight or water. It is very much about the journey for writers. Sure, the ultimate goal is to get published and thoughts of acclaim assuage the ego but, for the writer, there is almost a sense of urgency to write.
The first key to writing a novel is the ability to dream and imagine. Think back to when you were a little child and dreamed. Your imagination took you to places you’ve never been before. It made you do things you never thought you could do. Having superpowers…being in strange places…the conditions are limitless. Writing a novel is actually imagination translated into words. You close your eyes and let your thoughts drift while creating a web of consequential ideas. After which, you write them down on paper.
The second key to writing is formulating the premise of your novel. Let’s say you’d start with a huge asteroid moving about in space. Then suddenly it collided with another asteroid and instantly created an explosion. Some of the explosion’s debris fell down into the earth’s atmosphere. By accident a person comes in contact with it. These sequence of events could be your initial start in which you let your mind take hold of and run with to produce the succeeding events.
The third key would be creating a stream of spontaneous ideas. Once you have the initial idea, sink down into it and allow yourself to be completely absorbed. Let’s say after the person comes in contact with the asteroid debris, he gains supernatural powers! And then he notices some new changes in his being, not just physically but also emotionally and psychologically. This is where an avalanche of new ideas start coming in. You will notice that you are no longer directing your story but your story is directing you. That makes writing now so easy. You don’t need to analyze anything because the story now starts to play like a movie. All you have to do is put them into words as the story plays in your head.
Next, make sure you are able to retain your daydreaming and concentration as one event goes after another. This state is now called the “alpha state”. This is the place between consciousness and sleep. Time stands still when you are in this state. Words keep coming to you until you start to feel pain in your legs and in your waist and then you suddenly flick consciousness and you become flabbergasted because you’ve not only written one or two pages but five or more without even knowing it!
The next key would be to practice flipping in and out of the “alpha state”. You can do this by rereading what you’ve written and internalizing it as if it was your first time. It might take you time, as much as hours or even days before you are able to go to your “alpha state” again but once you’re adept at going into the zone, it would only be a matter of minutes before you start writing a new dialogue.
So, you’ve finished your story! Now it’s time to do the final touch-ups. There is still one last thing that you need to do. Yea, you guessed it. You need to check the entire story again for spelling, punctuations, grammar, correct word usage and coherence. You might even need to revise it a few times before you are able to arrive with the final output. But don’t fret, it’s not much work really compared to writing the entire novel. What’s important is you now have your own novel, written by yourself, using your very own imagination. How much more proud could you get?
I just finished a publishing job. The book came to us ready to be formatted according to the author. We were paid to format the book and publish it to several different sites. He assured us that the editing was done and that he would not require our editing service.
I was appalled at the grammatical errors. We spoke again about editing services. He indicated that several of his friends had already looked at the book and it was fine.
I did my job and corrected some of the more glaring mistakes. Finally, the book was ready. The cover graphics were done, the formatting was done, the only job left to do was submission. He decided, after it was formatted, to hire someone to edit it.
The problem with this scenario is that when the editor gets done with making the necessary changes it will have to be re-formatted.
He will pay twice what he needs to for formatting.
This situation could easily have been prevented if he chose to pay a professional to edit his book before submission. Poor editing may result in his book not making Premier Status on some sites. How unfortunate!
I can’t stress enough, edit, edit, edit and when you’re done get a professional to look at it!
I was speaking to a friend on the telephone today and the subject of her writing came up. I asked her what she was doing about getting published and she replied that she wasn’t quite ready. She may not be. I did caution her to make sure that she doesn’t have the syndrome that many authors get.
What’s the name of the syndrome? Fail (Fearful Author in Limbo) Syndrome occurs when:
Writers write but never publish. They attend their weekly writing group sessions and get feedback about their writing (some of it good) and still leave there feeling not good enough.
The idea of being a writer is appealing but the discipline required to write takes too much effort.
Everyone that they know tells them what a great writer they are. But, all they hear is their grade four teacher telling them they have no imagination.
They don’t believe that anyone else will be interested in what they write.
How do you cure Fail Syndrome? Write, submit, learn to handle rejection and continue to repeat these steps until someone takes you seriously as a writer.
We believe in you!
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