Join us as John Goode goes Outside the Margins.
So people ask me all the time, how do you write?
I resist the urge to say one word at a time and try to figure out how best to answer them.
The hardest thing about writing I think is realizing it is not writing that is hard. I mean everyone can write. Grocery lists, notes, Facebook posts, I mean writing is one of those things we learn early on so that can’t be the hard part right?
What about story telling? We all have some incredible stories in our heads we wish we could tell others but for some reason we can’t get them down on paper. And the few times you can they sure don\t end up like they are in your head. So then what is it? Why can’t we all be writers?
Well the most important part is realizing that the skill is not in the writing nor the story but somewhere in between. A lot of people get hung up on trying to reinvent the wheel. That story has been told before, mine is different because…
This way lies madness. I assure you someone, somewhere has thought about it and tried to tell the same story. We all seem to pull from the same unconscious well of ideas and repetition seems to be the norm. So don’t try to be all weird and new, worry about what makes your story special.
There has to be something in the way you tell your story, not the story itself, that grabs a reader with both hands and won’t let go. Maybe it is the prose, maybe it is the events, maybe it is the main character, but something has to be so uniquely you that when someone reads it they see the same old story everyone has written but for some reason it is different.
Now this magic trick isn’t going to work on everyone. There are tons of people who read my books and go, yawn nothing new. And there are scores that read it and go wow I’ve never seen it done like that before. You cannot make everyone happy and you shouldn’t try. Write to your strengths and write what you would want to read. Don’t worry about your audience or your market share, just write what you want to read and people will respond.
There is one other thing you need to know about writing that might help.
You will fail far more than you succeed.
For every printed page of a book out there I assure you no less than three virtual pages of ideas were thought of and discarded on the way. You can’t be married to your first or even second draft. Sometimes losing your whole chapter is good because you can go back and really try to get what you meant across and this time you know what worked and didn’t.
Read, write, read and write some more. Prepare to fail. And always, always, always write what you want to read. You might not sell a loto f books, but in your heart, you’ll be a writer.
~ John Goode
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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