Something that I learned early on while writing was to always have a small tape recorder with me at all times, so I could record thoughts, or if I had an opportunity to interview someone related to my story, I would have it with me to do so, with their permission of course. Most phones today have a recording feature so if you are able to interview someone for a story you’re working on and you have their permission to do so, you can also use that.
Do you have a certain time of day that you prefer to sit down and write? Or are you a night owl and belt it all out during the evening hours while burning the midnight oil? I don’t know that I have a particular time in mind, but I seem to be most productive during the nighttime with my writing, because that’s when it seems to be the most quiet for me.
Do you use a computer or laptop, or do you revert back to the old style typewriter, or perhaps you choose to jot down your thoughts and ideas in a notebook?
Most everyone now relies on their computer, or laptop, to write their story, but if you don’t, then how do you write?
There’s no right or wrong way and everyone has their own style and way of doing things, so what is yours?
I think one of the most important parts about writing is surrounding yourself with others who enjoy it too. Since working on my first book, I have met and befriended so many writers and authors, and I’m grateful to have them in my corner, just like I am in theirs. Check out local writing groups or libraries in your community to find others willing to support and give words of encouragement, because we all need it.
When I took on the project of writing, The Notorious Texas Swindler, I realized I wouldn’t have been able to write it without having such an interest in reading. I firmly believe that reading books and other materials teaches you how to write, and it prepares you for certain details to include in your story.
My editor, John, told me before I ever started writing that he wanted me to read Truman Capote’s book, In Cold Blood, because he wanted me to see the various writing styles of true crime. In Cold Blood is one of my favorite true crime books and Mr. Capote was one helluva an author, so if you haven’t read it I highly recommend it.
So, if you’re wondering where to begin, I would recommend reading a few books by some of your favorite authors to see what they’re style of writing is and then you’ll be able to find your own style. I’m not comparing my work to Mr. Capote’s, I’m simply saying that his style of writing is what I strived to be like as far as the true crime genre is concerned.
Am I the only one who has an office to work in, and it’s a great place to write, but instead of using it I always go to the main room of my house to work instead?
My office has everything I could possibly need, everything that is but me. I claimed the living room, mainly the area where my couch and ottoman are located. I seem to be more productive there.
If you’re trying to find the right place to write, the best advice I can give is go where you feel the most comfortable. I’m the kind of gal who likes to be where all the action is and that is where I do most of my work. Find your space and the rest will happen.
Happy Writing Folks!
I learned early on that I had to protect my work, because of the genre I was writing. I contacted a literary attorney and for me, it’s what I needed to do, but it might not be the right choice for everyone. Due to cost, hiring a literary attorney may not be feasible. The first thing I was advised to do was to copyright my work, especially before sending it out to anyone not in my inner circle. By copyrighting your work beforehand, it gives you piece of mind, protects you in the process and it’s not very expensive. This is a link to the copyright office https://www.copyright.gov/ to help get you started, and if you have further questions, seek a literary attorney for more assistance.
It’s so important to block out time for yourself to be able to get those thoughts and words down. Make sure you have the designated time, whether it’s in the middle of the night, early morning, lunchtime or whenever you need, give yourself the time to sit down and write. You can even go for a walk and take a recorder with you -talk and walk if it works for you; whatever works for you then do it! And remember, these are your notes with your words only. Make the time to write and do it on your terms. Don't worry about it being perfect at the beginning!
The writing process can be a difficult one, not to mention tiring! And rewriting can be so painful at times, at least it was for me, and I’m sure a lot of you can agree. You have to revise your work repeatedly so that it gets to a point where you just can’t stand it. When I got to that point I dreamed about my book and what my next paragraph would say, there was no real rest for me, but ask me if I loved the process of writing and I’ll tell you, yes, many times over.
I even got to a point that I was ready to start killing off characters just to change things up, but it wasn’t possible for me to do that. And for those of you who are familiar with The Notorious Texas Swindler, Bob was the main one I was ready to take out, ex him out completely. But, mine could have been more because there’s a history with him being family and all, and wondering what con he was pulling on that particular week. Let’s just say I had a number of reasons that I could have taken him out of the story, but then I would lose my main character, so he stayed. When you get to the point of rewriting so much that you can’t stand it anymore, keep going. And God bless those of you who write fiction and have the option to knock a character out, because I envy you.
Just remember, no matter where you are in the process of writing, everyone at one time, or another was exactly where you are now. Write to your heart’s content and then rewrite as many times as it takes to get that final draft ready. Don’t forget to celebrate your victories, because writing a story of any kind is a huge accomplishment.
Let’s talk editors, can we? I can’t tell you how important it is to have an editor or beta reader who will listen to your ideas, someone you can collaborate with; in a nutshell, find someone who has the same passion for your book as you do.
My editor has been with me from the very beginning and I consider him a dear friend. I am so thankful to have him in my corner. No matter what genre you choose to write, you have a vision for your story and you are the only one who can breathe life into it like no one else can, so if you have someone not listening to your dream, dump them and fast.
Treat your writing like you do your guest list for Thanksgiving, don’t let just anyone sit at your table, unless you want them there and don’t let just anyone read your writing until you’re ready. Protect your work until you don’t have to anymore.