Wednesday, October 10, 2012

80% of Us Want To Write a Book- So Why Aren't You?

Did you know that statistics show that 80-something% of people would like to write a book? That figure initially astounded me- why don't I know more authors? But truly, I can believe it. I am a part of that percentage myself, and as I have said before in a previous post, if the rest of humanity is into something, I probably will be too.

Maybe we've started writing but quit when the urge passed, when we got too busy, or when we realized we didn't know what in the world we were really doing trying to write a book. What was I thinking? I'm not a writer. But you are- if you write, then you're a writer. Taking it to the next level just takes a lot of perseverance and little education in the craft of storytelling.
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

Usually, we just start with a seed. A tiny little thing that resembles nothing worth looking at. Don't throw it away, that tidbit can be the start of something wonderful. Collect them all you want, save them for a rainy day. That's when you start to find the story inside of you. Fiction, non-fiction, it makes no difference. These odd little threads of thought have burrowed out of our subconscious and made an appearance, fweeping like featherless baby birds we find in the middle of the grass. Where did you come from, Little Guy?

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at

Sometimes, one of these strange fellows will appear out of no where and try as we might to ignore it, push it away, discredit it, the more it refuses to go leave. Suddenly, it sprouts feathers, and starts hopping around- What? Now you're trying to fly? We can always choose what story to write, but sometimes, the story actually chooses us. Those are the easiest to tell and are a great place to start if we've always been wanting to write, and if we have one of these twerps fluttering around in our mind, we should take the hint!

If you have a seed germinating in your mind for a story, write that puppy down! Take all the ideas you have, make a list. Ponder it, see which one nags at you. That idea that is like a toddler relentlessly tugging at your shirt tail is the one you should develop first. But don't just throw it to the wolves!  Ask questions about plot, about conflict, about characters. Get wild and crazy with it, and most importantly, stick to it! Bad writing can be made better, but you can't improve what you never write.

Need help with that- did I just make it sound easy? It's not. Trust me, I know this. But here are links to Kristin Lamb's Blog that will help with plot development and structure:

Structure Part 1- Anatomy of a Best Selling Novel...
Structure Part 2- Plot Problems...
Structure Part 3- Introducing the Opposition
Structure Part 4- Testing Your Idea- Is It Strong Enough...
Structure Part 5- Keeping Focused...

If you have advice for the 80% of the population that years for writing creativity, please share it. We need all the help we can get!

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