Monday, March 4, 2013

How To - Writing, Step 1 1/2

I pulled out my blue notebook the other day.  The edges are worn and some of the pages are torn from the binding.  At first glance, it looks like a student's day-planner filled with scribbling and old post-it notes stashed in between notations and numbers.  For me, it's the pulse of my story - the life force of Deja vu.  My ideas, thoughts, images, phrases, poetry and pictures are scribed inside that black-and-blue cover.  What would the series be without it, I wondered as I leafed through the pages once again.

The need to keep a notebook such as the simple one I keep by my side cannot be emphasized enough for the serious author.  It's importance is brought to the forefront of my writing everytime I sit down and gather my ideas.  Truly, such tools - this one in particular - will be invaluable as you write your story.

So what comes next? 

Honestly....FAITH.  I know that seems a strange idea to present, especially when the student of artistic creation is ready to move ahead and begin the journey that will become his beloved project.  But I stand by my attestation (is that a word?) of the need for faith...also patience and an open mind.  Indeed, this sounds a little like scripture which proports the importance of personal virtues.  Perhaps that is part of my intent.

There stands a tremendous need for an author to remain open and willing to hear what is brought to him.  Often times, ideas will present themselves at the most in-opportune time (hence the reason for the notebook).  These ideas need to be reverenced and honored (and written down!).  Other times, people will offer insight into your ideas, thoughts, dreams, plans, plot, etc.  These comments also need to be honored and given appropriate consideration.  Yours, as the author, is the right to cast aside that which doesn't belong.  Your "gut" will tell you what is valuable "advice" and what isn't.

As your work becomes ready for editing and a publisher's scrutiny, be prepared to have a very un-emotional, open mind to suggestions for a successful novel.  An agent from Pennsylvania contacted me at the beginning of my submission process and made some suggestions to Midnight Omen which, at the time I received them, did not make a heck-of-a-lot of sense.  Fortunately, I wrote them down (in my little blue book).  Yesterday, as I thumbed through the pages and re-read the agent's suggestions, I could see that she was exactly right-on for the genre, market and sales potential.  Wow! 

Faith in yourself, ability and in the Universe allows you to accept these suggestions and ideas as they are presented to you.  Take the time and have the courage to jot down all that is given to you.  Time will prove its value and the story will dictate what you use.

My challenge to each of us this week is to jot down one idea, comment, criticism or thought each day as it presents itself.  (You will find that more and more is presented as you open your mind to receive...this I PROMISE!).  I would love to hear about your experience if you are willing to share!

Happy writing! 

(By-the-way, attestation IS a word): 
Main Entry:
attestation[at-e-stey-shuhn] Show IPA
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: confirmation
Synonyms: authentication, corroboration, declaration, documentation, evidence, proof, substantiation, testament, testimonial, testimony, validation, verification

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