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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thoughts into words

Discouragement can be the biggest enemy of any writer and often I am confronted by someone who says “I’d like to try writing a novel, but all I have is this idea, or a couple words or sentences, and I don’t think I can move forward from there.”

That happened again this past week when an earlier novel that I wrote, Killer Blizzard, was re-issued by Amazon’s Kindle Books.  People were congratulatory and then some of them somewhat remorseful as they shared that they too had ideas to write but didn’t think it could be taken beyond more than a statement or a short story at best.

But, of course, that’s how all books begin.  So, don’t be discouraged, but instead be heartened by the fact that you have the idea; the concept; the seed that has the opportunity to grow as you start to put the words into print.  Remember, every piece of writing didn’t begin until that process occurred.  I’ve always liked this statement by Mark Twain and had it on my desk when I first sat down at my old portable typewriter and began writing what turned into Killer Blizzard.

“A man who is not born with the novel-writing gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to build a novel. I know this from experience. He has no clear idea of his story; in fact he has no story. He merely has some people in his mind, and an incident or two, also a locality, and he trusts he can plunge those people into those incidents with interesting results. So he goes to work. To write a novel?  No – that is a thought which comes later; in the beginning he is only proposing to tell a little tale, a very little tale, a six-page tale. But as it is a tale which he is not acquainted with, and can only find out what it is by listening as it goes along telling itself, it is more than apt to go on and on and on till it spreads itself into a book. I know about this, because it has happened to me so many times.”

Thoughts to words; words to sentences; sentences to paragraphs; to chapters; to books.  Happy writing.

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