We are often lied to that there is nothing known as a time machine. I prove those people wrong by presenting them with a book. These individual words strung together are time travellers and teleporters, trotting between the past, present and future. From being in the middle of a crime scene, to trekking the Kilimanjaro on a gap year while the sun's rays light a path for a new chapter, a book makes us travel without the need of a passport.
With hard work and perseverance we can all create, one word at a time.
In a world where no idea is completely original, what distinguishes a writer from a published author? The answer contains two core ingredients that complement each other like pen and paper (to stay in context). The two peas in a pod are hard work and perseverance.
We are all individuals, and herein lies our strength. Our individuality stems from our personalities and experiences that are exclusive to us. Each situation or encounter takes on its own idiosyncrasies depending on who is perceiving it. This is the beautiful phenomenon that makes us story tellers.
Currently completing my third book, I am reassured that the hardest bit about writing at first is penning down the initial words, subsequently followed by not being able to stop. For those of you writing a book, remember to use your individuality to your advantage, as any work we do is spurred by our own reality.
There are several steps—or chapters if you like—in the process of constructing a book. However, these may or may not occur in the presented order.
Chapter 1: Know your 'to' and 'from'
Write the entire story in a page. Know the beginning and end of your book as well as you know your own name. Summarizing your tale in a shorter format will provide you with further clarity on your story line. Knowing the path to reach these two crucial points isn't necessary but make sure you know where you're heading and from where. These two focal points are the destinations you would put as to and from on your GPS.
Chapter 2: Be your characters
The best actors in the world implement method acting to display a realistic performance. Learning from these stalwarts, I too adopt my characters' personas. After figuring out the "to" and "from", your characters are the vehicles that will navigate you to join these points. It is essential to know more about your characters than you will share.
The beauty about this approach is that, as you dwell in your characters' mannerisms and lives, you'll begin taking newer routes that add to the intricacy and detailing of your story.
Chapter 3: Fight the dreaded writer's block
When I began writing I was oblivious enough to deem myself immune to this state where you find yourself stuck... chasing an object whilst on a treadmill. In 2014 in the midst of it, I realized two vital points:
- Don't write for the sake of getting published. Make sure you are the strictest critic of your work. When you are ready to write knowing that tomorrow it might not get published, then you are ready to get published.
- To escape from the grip of writer's block, here is a counter submission guaranteed to work. On a piece of paper or on a word document (whatever floats your boat), write down any thoughts or words that come to you. Eventually you'll find words that will be useful and those you don't need you will get rid of. Like a cluttered cupboard, the clothes you do not like you'll remove and the rest you can fold and store for use.
While finding the correct words, the key to extraordinary content is reading anything and everything.
Writing a book much like a marathon—you have to pace yourself. Writer's block? That's merely stopping to catch your breath.
Chapter 4: One more please? No!
Too many subplots will make the reader lose track of the story. It is essential you know when to stop writing. If you are trying to display a flower, it makes more sense to surround it by leaves rather than many more flowers. Elucidate your primary plot with lots of detailing. Save a new plot for another book!
Chapter 5: Test drive before purchase
Test the waters before you jump in. I began writing by blogging my work, which provided me with a better insight through the feedback I gathered from my readers. Instead of going to publishing houses to get published straightaway, ask readers for advice on improvement. Their umpteen experiences and guidance will only help you better yourself.
Writing is a therapy for the writer and the reader. Our words spur imaginations and the beauty of this art is in us all. With hard work and perseverance we can all create, one word at a time.