Monday, 3 January 2011

A is for Aspiring Novelist

Over the past two years I have learned several tricks which I have found useful. So I thought I would share these with other aspiring novelists and short story tellers and writers. It’s funny but when I started to write I never imagined or believed I could write a whole book! How could I possibly find enough to say?

Firstly, I switch off my internal critic, that nagging voice that berates and jars my senses. Leads me away from my desired goal. I just allow myself to write, and the words are permitted to go down on to the paper unedited. It’s hard but it works, because this freedom allows me to access many areas within my creative mind. Then I remind myself that I am not a perfectionist. This reaction stops me from reviewing my newly written work too soon. I have to allow the work to settle and then return to it with fresh eyes. Otherwise editing becomes a nightmare, because I can’t see my own errors. (In truth I am a bit of a hit and run merchant who would much prefer to move onto the next exciting project that has wetted my appetite.)

Secondly, I set myself a daily writing word target. During the summer it was a minimum of 1,000 words each day. By setting up this target I focused all my energies into writing the book, (except of course when I got distracted by bright other ideas, lol) but this action did allow me to write uninhibited. I can now capture thoughts and ideas and develop them with a greater ease than before, because I have exercised my mind muscle! I find it easy to write, for my words flow and for this ability I am truly grateful. But it can be frustrating when there isn’t enough time to capture these thoughts. Especially if I feel they’re important. I am a kinesethic type and very visual, I can see my stories and the latest trick I have acquired is this: I have learned to turn my thoughts into images, in ‘filmic-style’ on a film set. This allows me to rerun the videotape in my head at a later time and move the angle of my perception. If he does this then she reacts… and so on, etc. It works for me.

Two years on, I am quite staggered by the volume of my output. I can’t promise it is all good but, in amongst all those pages there might be a few hidden gems, waiting to be discovered. In truth I am writing my second novel now, as the first attempt remains hidden in a bottom drawer awaiting a full edit! Once I have finished, my current work, ‘Letting Go.’

I have also written a series of short stories, loosely based around the theme of ‘dating,’ which Ether Books recently published (two of them: Kissing the Pavement and 45 minutes) and I hope to publish many more as I release them into this new digital domain.

And my advice to any new aspiring author is simple: just write, write every day – any chance you get – grab it!

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