a hot Saturday in August 1995, I sat down at my
desk (in my living room) in front of an old word
processor (that only saved 3 pages at a time) and
began to write the manuscript that would be sold
a year later as MEG; A Novel of Deep Terror. I had
no prior writing experience, save for a masters
thesis and dissertation, and no clue or contacts
to help me get published, but I had two things going
1. I knew how to set goals.
2. I refused to quit.
If you have these qualities, then the rest will
come to you. Writing, like most skills, gets better
the more you do it. I have found this true with
my own writing. I am still learning and proud to
admit it, for when the learning process stops, the
Persist. Along the line you will find the help you
need. Remember, what goes around comes around, so
give back if you want to receive. Luck is a residue
of hard work, but no matter what your chosen endeavor,
no one is truly successful without the help of others.
Pray, toil, but keep the faith and keep working
at it, and good things will happen, often when you
least expect it.
And so, for all of you who aspire to write and be
published, or just be successful in your chosen
endeavor, I humbly offer you these tips and links
to others that helped launch my career. I hope they
do the same for you.
1 : What should you write about?
One of the
most asked questions I get as an author is: "Where
did you come up with your ideas?"
Ideas are inspired by experiences, the things we read, the
programs, videos, and movies we watch, the music we listen
to, a conversation, a dream,
and everything in between. To be an author, you need to
think like an author, and
authors think about stories all the time. That means keeping
your mind set to WRITING MODE.
I always keep paper, pen, and flashlight near my bed so
I wake up from a dream (or nightmare) I can sketch out a
quick note before I drift back
into the zzzzz's. Don't expect to remember the dream in
the morning, it never happens UNLESS YOU WRITE IT DOWN!
I also keep
pen and pad in the car. Long drives are great for letting
your mind wander, just don't wander off the freeway.
I read the newspaper everyday. Watch Discovery Channel and
TLC. All of these things can lend details to the novel I
am currently writing.
Concepts also come in the form of WHAT IF? Take the DOMAIN
trilogy. The first book, Domain, began with: What of the
asteroid strike 65 million years ago wasn't really an asteroid?
As I researched this WHAT OF, I came upon the Yucatan Peninsula,
the Maya, and the Mayan Calendar and its doomsday prophecy.
From that tiny thought began a trilogy.
you are ready for Step 2: Research Next>