Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Say It, Write It, Love It

So many people begin with the words, "I've always wanted to write a book but... ". They stop themselves before they have even get started. How do you know you can't write, if you've never sat down to do it? Fear is a powerful feeling but what is an even more powerful feeling is the pride you experience when you finally do sit down and write that first full page.

The first words are the hardest, making you question every letter you use, but they will become more fluid as you relax. Writing is a seductress, luring you into her bed, drawing you in with the freedom to create beautiful worlds, driving ambitions, moving emotions and before you know it, you'll be in love before you even hit the sheets.

Time is the biggest commitment you need to start, time and the will to try. Don't think of writing a whole book, if that's too overwhelming. When the great pyramids were built, it took twenty years. Few workers were there from start to finish so for them it became a job of moving one stone at a time.The job was cut down to size. So, start with your one stone. One page at a time.

You may then say, "Oh, I wouldn't know where to begin." Okay, fair enough, so ask yourself this, where do you like to start a good movie? Do you want to sit in a dark theatre, munching on your popcorn, looking forward to a drawn out introduction of a character's entire life leading up to the action that finally comes his way? You'd need more than a couple of hours and some extra soft seat cushions for your butt if this is the case.

You start where the real story begins when the character's life takes its dramatic turn. In the "Wizard of Oz", we don't start the story when Dorothy is born, or when she's growing up, no the story starts when she's facing the threat of losing her dog. The drama in her life has taken a quick step forward taking the viewer with it. Still, if the story lingers there too long, the viewer will become more interested in the box of Milk Duds in his hands then with the story so the pace has to keep picking up speed.

Once you find your start, trust your instinct to keep the momentum going. You may find after a few pages that you won't want to stop, and even with one page a day you'll have a full novel by the end of the year. Writing is an amazing process begging to carry you along if only you just let it. Don't go putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, you can write for just your eyes only, if it helps, or let someone you trust read it but you won't know how it feels until you try. I promise there is no greater gift you can give yourself.
Doreen McNicol
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1 comment:

  1. Good article, Doreen. I agree. For me, it's one page at a time and sometimes one paragraph at a time. Thanks for sharing your insight.