TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR BOOK WRITTEN
By Maria J. Andrade
1. Write About Something You Know About or Have a Passion About!
My recently published fiction novel, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, which takes place in Ecuador, South America was about the friendship of three women I grew up with, but the main character was my mother. Of course, I knew about their lives because I had spent my life hearing about their youth, how they connected, and what kept their bond of sisterhood solid. So, it was not hard to be excited about creating and sharing a description of these fictional
characters who were based on real-life people I love, but there was also plenty of research I had to do about the period they grew up in.
2. Do Some Research
Their story begins in the early 20th Century, which was still influenced by the customs and mores of the Victorian age, and their lives as young women spanned the period of the second World war. I heard what they had told me about the treatment of women during that time and the limitations women faced but I had to learn more. I also did research on Ecuador’s history and the fascinating and uniqueness of its flora and fauna which I wanted to use as the backdrop of the story. So, as you choose a story or it chooses you, you may find yourself doing research to add to the richness of the plot.
3. Find The Time to Write!
It is not easy to find the time to write with family, job, and holidays but if you
are ever going to write that book you must get to writing! You can use the Pomodoro Technique which suggests you use a timer to do a thing for 25-minute intervals then stop, rest for 20 minutes, and begin again.
I wrote during the time my children were teens and later as an empty nester. In either case, I could always find excuses to procrastinate to start writing or to leave a story behind. In truth, I was procrastinating because there were periods I didn’t believe in my own creative abilities. “It just isn’t good enough,” I would tell myself. Or, I add, “So many good writers have already written about this theme.” Then I realized I had to change the negative mind tapes. “It may not be good right now, but I will get it to be the best it can be!” “Yes, others have written about this theme but maybe I will have a new perspective that readers can relate to!”
4. Write a Draft or an Outline
I find that I can write in a more coherent way if I have an outline of where I want to start, where I am going, and maybe where I will end the story. The writing of an outline helps me play creatively with the story line and flesh out the segments as if I were writing a 3-part play. The beginning, middle and end may change but the outline gives me a head start.
5. Write and Re-write
As you get into your story try to
stop at a good place not where you feel stuck. It is better to return to the
story when you have not hit a brick wall or feel trapped. If you do hit a wall.
Leave it. I needed to get away from my story which ended up being over 77,000
words often. So, I would take a break and get a snack, read some poetry, go out
for a walk, or work in my garden. Often when I returned to the story it felt
fresh again and I could re-write a section or flesh out a character more.
Of course, in the end, you will need to work with an editor and a good one will tell you where the story needs more information or less. Editors will also pull our cliches, and grammatical errors and all that, but most importantly, they will give you feedback about where the behavior of a character or an event needs clarification. So be prepared to re-write! I translated my novel into Spanish, so I spend a lot of time re-writing because grammatical rules vary from one language to another. Thank goodness, I had a great editor for each language!
6. Believe in Your Story
If you have a chapter written read it to yourself outload. Hear how it sounds. Share it with a friend and get their feedback. Join a writing group and share it there. You need support so get it wherever you can. Just know that story will get finished and you will begin a new adventure, the journey of marketing your own book!
Before Maria retired as a therapist, she specialized in women’s issues and founded the Wise Women’s Circle a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit.
Maria Andrade’s books for children and adults is found in a variety of genres. This is an unforgettable first novel that reflects her imagination and creative storytelling.
Defiance and Redemption is her latest release.
Visit her website at www.booksasfriends.com or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
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