How I write. Lesson 1

in writing •  2 years ago  (edited)

I have been asked in replies on my blogs, in chat and in person. I've been asked to give tutorials and teach people how to write. I've thought about it, I've considered it and now I've started it.

I'm not sure I can teach YOU how to write like I do, but I can tell you how I developed my own style and maybe, hopefully, that will help you develop yours.

These are my books. It took two years to write my first book - and another nine years to publish it.

My Amazon.co.uk page


My Writing Journey

I am a writer. I started writing seriously in 1999 when I started my first novel, Deadlier Than The Male.

I am also, first and foremost, a reader. I’ve been reading since I can remember (and probably a little before that).

I have a deep and inherent love of books and I will read any genre (at a push, if there’s nothing else to read). I do prefer horror, though.

Yes, I realise you probably already know all that…

I worked as a Door Supervisor (Front of House Staff, Bouncer… you know… “Your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.”) I like to think I was good at it. I certainly enjoyed the work, if not the hours and the arseholes trying to take liberties. Still… Ying and Yang…

The nightclub had just opened – like, a month or so before and trade was slow. People liked to get hammered at places they’d always got hammered at and so, the club was given a bit of a wide berth at first.

I stood on the threshold, looking up the street, down the street, across the street… not a punter to be seen.

On a whim, I looked up. The full moon sat bright in the dark sky and it was a view that could easily take your breath. I was doing nothing else, so I looked at that moon for a while.

The rooftops of the buildings were all miss-matched, uneven and different styles of architecture – another aspect of interest to look at.

The receptionist was just as bored as I was and she abandoned her post and came to chat with me.

“Look at those rooftops, Lolly,” I said. “Can you just imagine a figure leaping from rooftop to rooftop, silhouetted by that big, bright full moon?”

“Oooh, yes!” she said. “A vampire?”

I looked at her and thought for a moment. Vampires were big at that time… Lost Boys and all that.

“Nah,” I said. “Werewolves.”

And so my story started to take shape.

I went home from the club that night, walking to my car through the almost-deserted town, alone, at 3am. I wore my big coat, which disguised my frame, my long hair plaited and tucked down my coat, gloves on, bag in my hand – does any of this sound familiar?

I got home and started my computer up. Trev (@s0u1) was always a heavy sleeper – he started work at 03:30 and therefore, nothing woke him. I started tapping away at my computer and had the beginnings of a story.

I continued with it the next day. I was fired-up and the story just kept coming.

To begin with, I wasn’t all that good, but I liked the story. So I carried on with it.

The story started way back in an indeterminate time, around the War of The Roses in England – roughly 15th century (off the top of my head… I can look it up if you like, but you’ve got the gist… a LONG time ago).

The characters and scenarios were vague and in serious need of development, but they were taking shape, gaining texture and substance before my very mind’s eye.

The character was a bit feeble… a victim and though I liked her, I didn’t like that fact. So, if the first character I came up with was to survive, she had to get tough – FAST.

To give her a reason to get tough, she had to have some conflict and so the dog she loved, the only thing left from her parents, had gone missing and needed to be found.

It was too easy for her to find it, too quick, simple and where was the conflict, so she had to have something to scare her.

Enter the mysterious, unseen, unidentified terrifying beastie (for @meesterboom’s benefit).

I developed tension, a chase, more conflict and terror than you could shake a sticky stick at and then… her saviour appeared!

But he didn’t actually rescue her. He just happened along after she’d got away from the big, scary, unseen beast and therein lay another mystery for later – a little bit of ‘foreshadowing’ if you like.

I had to develop (make up) a back-story in pretty quick order because the tale was marching on apace and we needed to know more about this young woman.

Parents dead, all alone except for her beloved dog, she had the loyalty of her parents’ friends and the locals seemed to like her too. The ‘Lord of the Manor’ had a soft-spot for her and so you got the feeling she was a generally nice kinda girl – what’s not to like?

But What’s not to like? doesn’t make a good story.

I had to dig deeper and make it a thrilling story. One that readers would like to follow, one that I wanted to read.

And there I had it! The whole reason to write a book.

Write a story that I wanted to read and never mind anyone else.

That was where my mantra comes from:

Write a book to please yourself. Don’t write to please others, because you’ll end up pleasing no one and the book will not be any good – certainly not as good as it should be.

There’s my first piece of advice on how to write:

Write something you would read – and read, and read again – because if you get bored with it, so will your readers.

How is your readership supposed to read a story that bores you, the story’s ‘mother’ (even if you’re a bloke, you still get to be ‘mother’ because you gave ‘birth’ to the book).


This is the first page of the book when I started it. Things developed from there, as you can see from the finished book

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I've always wanted to write a book but I've only ever written the first chapter in the books that I've started and I threw most of them out over time.

Your advice to write something we'd like to read is very good...and its so true that if it bores us the readers won't like it either. Hopefully some day I'll get to the point that I've got something worth reading. :D

I never throw any writing out - not ever.

If I don't like a piece, I cut it out but keep it in a file.

Later - sometimes years later - I may find it and whad'yaknow! It fits right in on a piece I'm writing now.

Keep going, don't give up. The only difference between a chapter and a book is just a few more chapters.

Thank you very much. :D I'll remember that and will stop throwing them out. :D

@michelle.gent Objectives are the first step in writing a strong lesson plan. After the Objective, you will define the Anticipatory Set. The objective is also known as the "goal" of your lesson. Here you will learn what the "objective" or "goal" part of your lesson plan is, along with a few examples and tips.

OBJECTIVE
In the Objectives section of your lesson plan, write precise and delineated goals for what you want your students to be able to accomplish after the lesson is completed.

Additionally, you will want to make sure that the lesson's objective fits in with your district and/or state educational standards for your grade level.

By thinking clearly and thoroughly about the goals of your lesson, you will ensure that you are making the most of your teaching time.

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@michelle.gent. I want to sincerely say have learnt a lot reading your stories and I is really helping me to be a better person when it comes to writing. I use to have this notion that some are born to write beautifully, but it actually about practicing and consistency. When you make mistakes in the process you try it again and again until you mastered it . That is, you learn from it and observe not to make such mistake anymore.
Your style of writing is an added advantage for someone like me to learn from. Have said it before and am saying it again.
I will appreciates if you can check few of my post and kindly give you comment about my writing style.
No matter what you say,I will take it as an opportunity to be better person at what I do.
Thanks for given some insight about who you are and how you started . It was actually an humble beginning and see where you are today.
No limit is what I see about you. Celebrate you dear.

Always your fan @optimistdehinde.

You're quite right, it IS about practise and consistency. It's also about research, learning and actually wanting to do better. You sound like you have a lot of those qualities right there and you know what else is true?

You can't edit an empty page.

Keep writing, edit it all later :)

I like the second to the last statement "You can't edit an empty page.Keep writing, edit it all later " Thanks for the response I really cherish it especially coming from you.

It's not my invention, but I share it because it's true and it helps.

I am very disappointed today,
because a little late to see your new article,
this is very unusual,
and i really enjoy your story ,,
wowww, I love you more,
if we were close together, I would ask you to send me, a very beautiful storybook @michelle.gent

and i will tell you where i live ,,,
if I know a great writer,
I will tell everyone, and invite them to enjoy your writing

Thank you :)

That's the beauty of Steemit - even if you don't catch the 'live' show, it's still there for you to see afterwards.

It's not quite the same, but if you go t this link, you can download one of my books for free and read it on your device.

Dusty The Demon Hunter

thank you I will do it

I can totally relate to your post, looking forward to more!

I love what you are doing here. I am also a published writer and I still have trouble creating routine when it comes to writing. This past week I started a regiment of writing a simple 1000 words a day just to keep the creative juices flowing. With NaNoWriMo coming up, I need all the guidance from authors such as yourself as I can get. Upvoted.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

I have studied dramaturgy and I have my own writing methods, but I have always been interested in how other authors write. Thank you for that post!

I've never studied (as you'll see in the post replying to @raghwendra) and it's all 'seat of my pants' writing.

:)

I see. The interesting thing is that before I studied i have my own methods , and when I start studied there a law. I just make this methods unconscious. When we make that alone we just discovered something old.

Hi 👋 I love that you want to help other writers expand their creative writing side. I wanted to invite you to join the fiction workshop in MSP discord. It's a group of fiction writers that write fiction, critique fiction, and voice chat about submissions once a week on the radio. Would you consider joining?

Here is the link. https://discord.gg/5fq2zPt

Yes, thank you for the invitation.

Is it a 'set in stone' thing?

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how open and welcoming they are there. Come already, we are excited to have you!

I'll certainly take a look :)

Thank you very much!

So... how do I find you? :)

When you are in their @Kubbyelizabeth and it will ping me. I will coming running to you!

I have started writing a book... And would love to get inspiration from an amazing writer like yourself. Following you. X

thank you for posting this it's very encouraging and informative. Writing for me has brought me out of my shell it was a long time before I would let anyone see anything I had written. I tend to make a lot of grammar and punctuation mistakes. But I love to write and see stories in my head that need to be written down. It may not be perfect but it's mine. Writing gives me freedom. I will be reading, upvoting and resteeming your lessons......thank you.

Thank you @michelle.gent for sharing with us how you started your first book. I'm new to writing and learning more about it every single day.

Ye cannae beat a terrifying beastie!! :0)

I know, right? :D

Very funny. Yeah !she actually did that. Lol