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Writing the great american novel - part one - getting started

The Great American Novel is what every aspiring author dreams of creating. The Nobel Prize in Literature… what a dream. It’s like the lottery “someone’s going to win, why not you?” The first step is the writing but that’s only the beginning.

To become a recognized writer one must have a readable piece of work. That’s the main ingredient but everyone knows that the main ingredient is kind of bland without the added accoutrements. There are possibly innumerable pieces of great literature in boxes, on computer disks, and still in the minds of would be writers.

First one must concentrate on what they want to write. What do you want to say? Is it fiction? Fictional writers spend a lot of time on character development and plots. Think about writers who write for soap operas. They spend most of their time on character development and plot lines. They have to ask questions such as, “If I give her cancer, how are we going to pull her out of it to keep her on the show?” In building characters and plots you need to make sure your central character(s) aren’t backed into a corner before their story begins. Working out how you want then to end is one of your goals. Remember, as you write new ideas unfold so don’t stick to something because it’s in an outline.

Are you writing non-fiction? The non-fiction writer is writing factual information about people, places, or things. Do you have your facts? If not, what do you need to do to get them? Sometimes writing non-fiction is harder because you can’t make it up as you go. If you’re an expert on the topic it could be easier. If you’re writing about someone, check with your editor to see how far you can go.

If you’re writing a self-help book, use facts and proven results. Make it something you know has worked for you and/or others. There will be a lot of people trusting your advice so keep it trustworthy.

Now available...part two

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