Wednesday, 28 May 2014
The Write Perspective.
I wrote my first book at the tender age of 17. There were some good ideas in there, but my naivety and total lack of knowledge about my subject, shone through. My second book, at 18, was better. It was a silly set of stories about a large sweet shop owner, called Mr Jolly. The joke was, that he was anything but jolly. He was nasty, selfish, and pompous. A big publisher showed interest, but didn't take it up. I learnt my first important lesson about writing. If you enjoy it, carry on, even if you are drowning under a mountain of rejection slips. I wrote a couple of sit-coms in my 20's and was generally consumed by partying and life, before returning to my first love, which is writing books. And I do love writing books. I have written several and each one has been a joy. For me, plot is only a loose structure, for once I have good characters, they take over the plot, they drive it forwards. With great characters, the writing process is easy, for if they have sufficient depth and I know them intimately, I am merely the vessel that writes down what they say and do. Of course I have to do the research, make some decisions about challenges they may face etc, but the fact is that the characters are in charge. Once I have an idea I like, the theme of my book, I look for my characters. If I create sloppy, superficial, cartoon characters, and can't come up with any decent ones, then I have to abandon the idea. I have done this more than once. Of course, I draw upon people that I have met or observed in real life, and sometimes I look inwardly to create a good character. Do you want to write a book? If yes but it appears an insurmountable task, I suggest that you think about something that YOU really want to write about. Create a few characters, based upon some interesting people you know of, and buy yourself a notepad and a pen. Do you want to write a children's story? Listen to your inner child and find out what theme enthuses them. When I wrote Dominic And His Daydreams, (not currently available, the publisher controversially went out of business, it's a long story) I drew upon my own experience as a child. I was an avid reader and always daydreaming about going into those exciting worlds of the books I read. So the protagonist, Dominic, becomes a Fictionalis Special Agent, going into books and getting involved in wonderful adventures. Write about what you know and if not so familiar, do your research thoroughly. Research is easy nowadays with the invention of the trusty internet. With your notepad and pen, characters and theme, just have a shot at writing a couple of pages. You never know, you might enjoy the experience and might want to write some more. It goes without saying, a Thesaurus is an invaluable tool, sometimes the word or phrase you want eludes you, you look it up, and bingo! you are writing articulately the book you've always wanted to write. Good luck to all you prospective writers out there, and above all, enjoy the ride!