So you wanna be a writer?
I’ve learned a lot over the years (and years. Did I say … years?). Perhaps it’s because I had no idea what to/how to get across a message, nor did I know English (I mean, I did, but it was like my second language when it came to writing).
I’ve heard, “Gee I could write a book, looks easy.” You think? Here’s the formula should you be ready:
The most difficult portion for me (besides the plot arc and main character arcs, and ultimate ending) is the synopsis.
But I found out one thing with the first novel: I found plotholes, defined the main character’s arc (behavioral and emotional changes to overcome the problem/s).
That’s not to say I didn’t rewrite, because I did. I can’t say my first novel was perfect, because it was far from perfect. But it was a great teaching method to have a group of critiquers, a lot of help from the gal who stuck with me for ‘some reason’ who ultimately became my editor, and a lot of rewrites.
Indie writers have a huge burden on their shoulders. They have to cross out the backstory because the backstory is for you, the writer. The rewrites must be rewritten, listened to, rewritten again. Then edited. Then it’s vital to hire an editor. If you don’t, you risk all the hard work for one stars. Do NOT skip hiring an editor.
I had a sequel in mind to my second novel, a huge military/thriller until I felt drawn back to a Whiskey River novel (not to be confused with another author’s Whiskey River Series).
Anyway, I’m reading and cogitating on said #3 in the sequel now. So my first agenda will be to write the crime. Yes, the crime and the end result. And the main character’s personality and arc. Then fit it into a one or three page synopsis.
So if you are intent on becoming a writer, interview at least one character. I sit on the couch and imagine I’m a reporter. HAHAHA. I get the character to speak to me. I ask all the questions of a person in the limelight. By the way I do this in my head since out loud sounds like crazy world. But I’ll know their flaws, fears, and expertise. Do this with your villain, also.
So get backstory onto your paper. Don’t put it into your work (unless it’s relevant). Write the synopsis or something similar. Put your main character’s biggest fear and obstacle in there. How will they overcome the villain (which can be even in their head)?
Your secondary characters are equally as important! Don’t forget them. Interviews (or an in depth one on a program such as OneStopForWriters is very useful) are also required. Make that villain smarter than your main character. A wimpy stupid or clichéd villain ruins an otherwise good book. I stopped reading a famous author’s books because of one novel which was a cliché and a half. It was predictable (I hoped for a different villain), the villain was truly stupid. Just one novel turned me off and as an author, you do NOT want a one star review.
Sequel to “Romance Under Wraps” is in the back of my mind while I read. Then scribble. Then read, etc. The synopsis will have to come first.
In the meantime, I have two novels on the shelf: “Romance Under Wraps,” and a military/thriller, “Rules of Engagement.”
Don’t forget to give an author some love. We work hard. More than you think!
4 thoughts on “Why is writing so much work?”
Outstanding advice. Backstory is crucial, whether or not it appears in the actual novel.
Amen, bro. If you’ve ever read Tony Hillerman’s “The Blessing Way,” take a look at Wikipedia. I believe I found detailed and I mean seriously detailed characterizations of both Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Before he wrote the novel, his characters were as real as you and me. It was an astonishing and likely took him several weeks to create his characters, including his wife and all of the secondary characters. And I believe he knew the end of the entire series before he began (perhaps just which happens to the main characters). I believe any time we strive to write a series, we need to keep at least a few of our old characters (and in character, which is harder to do for me…) as well as flesh out the new ones.
In my early years, I created soap operas with my late mother. A show “bible” had to be written with extensive backstories on all characters to explain the motivations and drama the audience would see.
I believe it! Have to create the drama so the audience says, WHAT?!! I confess I used to watch one at lunchtime during work…