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Learn by Writing

posted Jun 4, 2019, 1:02 PM by Ben Kreucher
"The hardest part is writing a book" or so I've heard. And it's true that it takes time, discipline, and a lot of just tapping away at a keyboard to produce a novel length manuscript. That doesn't mean it's good or publishable. 

While I've stared at my manuscript for far too long it seems some days, I've come to realize that it's more true to say that "the hardest part is writing a good book". That not only takes the same time, discipline, and keyboard tapping that writing a book does, but it also takes patience while editing draft after draft, a keen eye for detail and grammar and spelling mistakes, and a healthy disregard for your own feelings toward a certain section or character as you tighten the prose, quicken the pace, and overall strengthen the story.

That's why, I think, many people will tell writers to just write. To write every idea for the manuscript on the page. Let them coalesce, breath, run free or wild. Because there's no need to hold back in a first draft. The story can meander, it can tangent and rabbit trail. It's when you edit that you need to trim and find the best story out of what you've written. The skeleton of the story to build upon. A framework that will hold up the rest of the story that you want to come alive and walk off the page into readers' hearts.

That's the hardest part. Sure, finding an agent and a publisher can be hard. So can promoting your book whether on Amazon or elsewhere. But the true challenge is grabbing a reader, getting them to hold on and never let go. Do that and you've conquered the highest mountain.

It all starts with that first word. That idea glimmering in the back of your mind keeping you awake at night. Just start tapping away. Don't worry what comes out. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare or Tolkien. It'll help you find your voice and your style. You'll learn about your characters, their journey, and their dreams. You'll discover the story you want to read and write that. But it might only appear after the first draft. Or the third.

So, don't just stare at a blank screen. Close your eyes if you have to. But, just let go and allow your ideas to flow and your characters to grow. 

You might be surprised by the results.
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