Friday, January 28, 2011

Another useful book: The Novel Writer's Toolkit

Just a quick note this morning about Bob Mayer's The Novel Writer's Toolkit.

Ever since I participated in Bob' Warrior Writer workshop a year or so ago, I've been following his comments on writing and publishing. I bought the Warrior Writer book too, but must admit became completely distracted by the fact that it's not properly formatted, could do with a massive tidy-up and be presented professionally. If you can get past that, there are many really interesting things to think about, particularly about you and what you want out of being a writer.

The NWT also covers much of the same ground, but that's okay, as I needed to think seriously about what I want out of being a writer on this road to publication. (It's also professionally edited, formatted and laid out, which is nice!)

When I did the WW workshop, I, like many others, was writing goals such as wanting to be a New York Times bestselling author within 5 years and the like. Okay, it's got the first part of the SMART goal concept right - it's specific and measurable - but is it achieveable? Well, maybe, but there are many, many things outside my control when it comes to making it onto the NYT bestseller list!

So, it's proving valuable to relook at ME as a writer. As Bob says: It all begins with you, the creator of your novel.

In this first chapter about you as a writer, Bob also says that the more you write, the more you will become a fan of outlining and doing a lot of work before you write the first sentence. Naturally, this resonates with me given what I've been doing with First Draft in 30 Days.

Bob talks about patience and self-discipline (not my strongest characteristics), the ability to organise (sometimes), an active imagination (sure!), the mind (well, I do have one), contentment and desire where he talks about money vs the desire to write and that balance we're always working on (yes, that's a balancing act for me too), setting objectives (I'm very good at setting them; sadly, I'm not a proven completer), writer's block (where I agreed with Bob's assessment that much of the time writer's block is another name for procrastination and I am a Master Procrastinator!), open-mindedness or willingness to change (yep, I'm willing to change), the writing routine (sometimes good, mostly not), and passion for your story (and that's what I keep losing).

It's all good stuff! Currently I'm working through the section of turning an idea into a story. This may be where I find my ideas haven't been strong enough which could be why I lose passion and stop working on them. Or, hopefully, as I think FDi30D is showing me, that the hard work developing plot and characters needs to come first for me.

All I know is whenever I think about giving up the idea of writing, I get really, really sad. The natural optimist in me says "you CAN do this, you're a smart woman, come on!"

So onwards and upwards on this fascinating learning process.
Happy writing all
Cate

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