Understanding The First Rule Of Writing - Before You Start The Great American Book
Chaos and confusion come when established rules and procedures are not followed. Even mixing and matching systems to favor one's own position can cause a great deal of consternation. In writing a book, the first rule is to know and understand why you want to write in the first place.
In other words, you need to develop a theme that will answer the question of why you want to write. I usually get a blank stare when I ask a budding author, "What is your book's theme?" Eventually the answer I get may be the title of a manuscript.
When I explain that a title isn't a theme, I then may hear, "It's the story of my life." That is unquestionably the number-one answer I get. There is a big difference between the title of your book and your theme.
While your title may be the sizzle, the theme is the flavor and is formally defined as a "recurring, unifying subject or idea." This is the aim or the main message of your book. Generally speaking, in writing there are two themes: the author's theme and the book's theme.
The author's theme is the usual subject matter the writer handles, or the one the writer is most comfortable with. For example, a writer may find his forte in the subject matter of healing or forgiveness. Another may write most of the time in the area of spirituality or motivation.
Don't confuse the author's theme with genre, which is the category of writing. In addition to establishing if you are writing fiction or non-fiction, there are several categories your book may fall into. Some of the most popular ones today are biography, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, thriller/espionage, horror, inspirational, historical, and courtroom drama.
Your book's theme is what the reader should learn most after reading your story. There are two answers that you as a writer shouldn't give when questioned about your theme: 1) This book is about me and the things that have happened to me; and 2) A rambling, almost incoherent dissertation that leaves one asking, "Huh?" Every author should ask and answer the following questions: "Why am I writing? What am I trying to articulate? What kind of outcome will the story have on the reader and what is the outcome I'm aiming for?"
In other words, what is the rationale behind your book? For example in his bestseller, The Purpose-DrivenŽ Life(Zondervan), author Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, takes readers on a "personal 40-day spiritual journey" to find the answer to the question, "What on earth am I here for?" To me, the most important element of your book is its theme.
Writing professors will probably disagree with me, and that is their right. In fact, some say the title is the most important. I understand, because all of this is subjective and mostly based upon personal preference. After all, there are many elements to creating a successful manuscript. But after years of trying to get would-be writers to complete their novels, short stories or even church talks, I've discovered that nothing has helped to move them "off the pot" quicker than having a well-developed theme.
Marvin D. Cloud is founder of http://mybestseller.com and author of "Get Off The Pot: How to Stop Procrastinating and Write Your Personal Bestseller in 90 Days."
Boost Your Income With Trade Journals
Why would anyone want to write for trade journals? Aren't the topics are dry? Don't they require specialized knowledge? Not necessarily. You may want to consider trade journals to increase the potential market for your articles - and for the money.
Top Ten Tips (Part 1)
The following rules are essential if you want people to take you seriously.Be yourself Know your subjectBe interested Punctuate proudlyRespect the apostropheGet great grammarSpell well Keep to the pointRead and reviseSleep on itPay attention to detailBe yourselfWrite from the heart or the head or the gut, depending upon the type ofwriting you are doing.
Making The Time To Write That Novel
Finding the time to write a novel is one of the major issues confronting writers, particularly those who haven't been published yet. How does one justify to themselves, or to their loved ones, that they need time to write if they have demands on their time, like a job, or a house to be cleaned, a family to be fed, or shopping to do? They make the time.
How To Avoid Viewpoint Slips
Sit back, and imagine what it feels like to be you. Now that shouldn't be too hard - you've lived in your own skin for a long time.
Writing the 8 WebCopy Headline Categories
My article this issue is an excerpt from a book I was readingrecently titled; The Copywriters Handbook by Robert Bly, asecondary small niche I focus on a bit. It categorizes thedifferent types of headlines which are most common and in usetoday.
Voice in Narrative and Dialogue - A Contrast of Writing Styles
One of the nice things about being an author is that we can breakany rule we want. (I just did.
How to Outline your Book and Chapters with Mindmapping
Mindmapping is better than linear outlining because authors can use flexible thinking and relativity in writing their book. One can add and subtract a thought or phrase from a mindmap easily.
Six Tips for Submitting Fiction - if you want it to get published
You can learn a lot about what it takes to place a story in an ezine by starting up one of your own.Last month I started work on a new ezine for writers, which I intended to use to publish high-quality, contemporary fiction, from writers all over the world.
Go With The Flow: Write With Transition Words and Phrases
One of the most common weaknesses I see in day-to-daywriting is poor logical flow from one idea or point tothe next. This usually takes the form of a bunch ofseemingly unrelated phrases thrown together with littleor no sense of sequence, continuity, or relativity.
How to Create Incredible Characters Easily
Creating incredible characters can be easy if you know of a few simple rules:Each character should have his own voice. If your character is from Brooklyn, give him brooklyn accent and mannerisms.
Proofreading for Profits
How to avoid mistakes that undermine your credibilityYou're probably already familiar with the spell checker built into your software. Some work automatically as you type, others only run when you activate them.
Weaving Your Personal Statement Together
1. SECRETS TO SUCCESS2.
10 Tips To Help You Pack More Power Into Your Business Writing
1. Before you write anything down define not what you want to say, but what your message must achieve.
5 Ways to Break the Story Spell
You sink back into your favourite chair with a new book in your hand. With a barely perceptible sigh of anticipation, you turn to the first page.
The Iniquitous Slip
All the famous writers I heard of could paper the walls of their offices with rejection notices.Rejection slips are the bane of all writers, yet they are inevitable.
Mind Mapping Your Journal Entries
Clustering, also called Mind Mapping, is a great way to savespace and time when you journal. For those of you thataren't familiar with Mind Mapping, you can search in Googleon the words or reading one of Tony Buzan's (the creator)books.
How Long is a Chapter?
How long should your chapters be?I can't resist..
Have You Tested Your Plot?
Creative Writing Tips -Our plotting stage is our testing area.Everything in the plot should be tested for its effectiveness before we put in into our stories.
Keys to Characterisation
Far too many inexperienced writers create flat, stereotypical characters: the brave fireman, the damsel in distress, the strict schoolmistress. The best characters are those who evoke emotions within the reader - fear, admiration, affection, laughter, horror? If the writer fails to make us care about the characters, no matter how ingenious the plot, we will toss the story aside without a second thought.
Plotting By Personality - Work With Your Natural Instincts
What's the best way to plot?Quick answer: the best way to plot is whatever works best for you. After all, we're all different.