Tuesday, 7 June 2016
3 Tips for Writing your Novel by Guest Blogger Dan Buri
3 Tips for Writing Your Novel
Writing a book is hard. If you’ve written a book before, you know that this is the case. If you’re dreaming to write a book, you have a mountain to climb and you should understand that before you begin. However, it’s very doable. Sure it’s hard, but it should be!
To take a page out of the namesake of my website Nothing Any Good: “Nothing any good isn’t hard.” (A respectful nod to Minnesota- born F. Scott Fitzgerald.)
If your book is good, it should be hard to write. That’s not something to shy away from. Most things in life that are worth doing are hard, but that makes them all the more satisfying. The beauty of writing a book is in the journey as well as the end product.
In my book Pieces Like Pottery, one of the lead characters provides his students with 40 Tips for College and Life in their last week of high school before they embark on their journey to great beyond (of adolescence at least). Right now at Nothing Any Good we’re visiting all forty of these tips and exploring how they can be applied to become better writers, and to finish that next novel of ours. Let’s take a deeper look at three of them together right now!
1. Be conscious of the present. Time is your most valuable asset.
You may be incredibly smart. Or you may have the wit of a thousand comedians. Or your command of the English language may be beyond comparison, creating new words by the dozens like Shakespeare did. (I’m always amazed at how many words we use today that Shakespeare just made up.)
All of those things are wonderful traits to have as an aspiring writer, but none of them compare to something that is common to us all– Time.
Time is by far your greatest asset. Time abounds. You have more time than you realize. Even if you have a full-time job and are raising a lovely family, you still have time. If I can do it, you can too!
Learn to maximize those little times throughout the day. Start small. Find a little block of time each day where you are always mindlessly putzing and write in that time. Try it on for size. I bet you after a month you’ll be shocked at how much writing you actually accomplished in just that small daily block of time.
2. Don’t be afraid to SEE DINOSAURS even when everyone else around you doesn’t.
I love this one. It’s one part Noah and the Great Flood and two parts The Emperor’s New Clothes. As writers, this can apply to many aspects of our journey, but there is one aspect in particular in which I would like to focus right now.
Anyone who has ever tried to write anything of worth, and for that matter any creative type that has ever tried to make something out of nothing, knows how exciting and scary that can be at the same time. You have the archetypal blank canvas in front of you and you can create whatever you want. The power rests in your hands.
I’m here to say just go for it. Take all of that excitement and fear and use it.
Don’t worry about how others say you’re supposed to write. Write the way that you want to write. Sure, soak in all the advice and feedback from the writing experts and writing amateurs alike. Take it all to heart. Let it wash over you. Then filter it through that beautiful brain of yours and write the way you feel called to write. You do you.
You have a unique gift simply by having the desire to write a story. That’s wonderful! Don’t be afraid to see the world as you want to see it. You’re the author. You get to create the reality of the characters. Don’t be afraid to see dinosaurs. J.K. Rowling saw dinosaurs. C.S. Lewis saw dinosaurs. Abraham Lincoln saw dinosaurs. Dostoyevsky. Dickens. Shakespeare. Aeschylus. They all saw dinosaurs. Don’t be afraid to see your own dinosaurs.
3. Be quick to show COMPASSION and EMPATHY.
Sure, this is quite a nice tip to follow in life. Research shows that people more prone toward being compassionate have a happier disposition and feel more fulfilled in their day-to-day lives. But what does this mean for us writers?
Every writer, whether you’re on your 15th book or struggling through putting together your first, has been in the situation of trying to figure out what happens next. Sometimes the story and plot lines just flow out of you like nobody’s business. Other times it’s just tumbleweeds rolling through the empty highways of our brain.
When you find yourself suffering from the clichéd writer’s block, take this advice to heart. Put yourself into your character’s shoes. Show compassion and empathy.
em·pa·thy (ˈempəTHē/) noun- the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
What is your lead character feeling? Get yourself into the state mind of your character. As much as you can, put yourself in a place where you can understand and feel everything that your character is going through. It’s the skill of the great writer. It is not simple, but it is often necessary, and it does wonders to get the words flowing out of you again.
What tips do you have for writing? I’d love to hear them. And join us as we journey through all 40 Tips for Writing Your Novel!
Thank you again, Brenda, for the opportunity to spend some time with you and your readers. I loved it! (And thank you for your patience!) You have a wonderful site.
Please contact me with your comments and questions. I love to hear from fans and readers. You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @DanBuri777. Feel free to also check out my website, Nothing Any Good. It is a website designed to help and support the indie author community. We have 3—4 excellent articles every week from very talented indie authors. Thanks!
Dan Buri's first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. His writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.
Mr. Buri's non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.
Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World's Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.
NOTE BY BRENDA
I have read Dan Buri's Book, "Pieces Like Pottery." Here is my review below:
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Pieces of Pottery” by Dan Buri was a brilliant book of nine stories, which stirred up my emotions.
The first story was about two parents trying to come to terms with the loss of a child. It was indeed a sad story.
The second was about the theory that a child’s nature is nurtured in the womb. That theory may or may not be correct, but my personal opinion is that it is true.
In the third story, patrons unloaded their burdens to the bartender who was a good listener. It is surprising how both a dockworker and the bartender carried the same burden for many a year, until the bartender got the dockworker to reveal why he frequented his bar.
Another story was about school days and the taunts with which a student had to endure.
I found that The Ballad of Love and Hate was the best story of all. This one brought tears to my eyes. After reading it I changed my mind about taking some time off alone.
Dan Buri is a very good storyteller and I enjoyed reading his book.
THANK YOU DAN FOR TAKING TIME OFF FROM YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE TO WRITE THIS POST.