But how do you write a book?
Funny, I wish I knew.
You may think I’m being a bit of smart-ass, but honestly, I’m not sure that I really know how I got here. I look at the 340-plus pages of my manuscript, harrumph (yes, I harrumph), and shake my head in disbelief. How did I write a freaking book? It seems as mysterious to me today as it did before I took my first course.
But here’s what I do know:
- Write because you’re passionate about it.
Don’t write a book because you think it will make you famous or the next great Canadian/American novelist. It likely won’t. The stats on this matter are quite frightening. It should be your passion. If it isn’t, it will likely fall flat – no passion from the writer, no passion in the characters. On that note…
- Care about your characters.
When writing a novel, you should know your characters. Not just their name, hair color, who their friends are, etc. That stuff’s plastic. Go beyond the surface. If someone cuts in front of them in line, how would they react? What’s in their fridge? What was their family life like? What are their pet peeves? What motivates them? What pisses them off? Why? [For a great post from Writer’s Digest on The Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Characters, click here]
In depth character sketches go a long way in helping a writer learn about their characters. Knowing what makes your characters truly tick, will make your story hum with the vibration.
For more on creating characters, I recommend the book, Breathing Life Into Your Characters by Rachel Ballon.
If you know of any other great books on creating characters, I’d love to hear about it! Leave your suggestions below.
In my next blog post, I will share two more strategies on how to get that book written…including, how to avoid the dreaded writer’s block…dun dun dun duuun!