Write what you know…and then grit your teeth and publish. With an older and wiser Vickie Lester and a young Joan Crawford
Write what you know??? If that were true all you’d be hearing from me is, “Blah-blah-blah, perimenopause, blah-blah-blah, who didn’t close the refrigerator?, blah-blah-blah, that director is an ASSHOLE, blah-blah-blah, does anyone see my glasses anywhere…
Furthermore poppets, I get queasy handing out advice, but the thing about writing, more than anything, is sitting down and doing it. Of course journalists should adhere to who, what, where, when, and why… But, for those of you who are starting to write fiction: MAKE STUFF UP. Make it as emotionally real as possible, make the laws of physics in your universe consistent, make it absorbing and believable, but for God’s sake let loose.
Think about the most compelling novel you’re read recently and ask yourself, did the author experience what their protagonist did? On one level the author does, because they created the protagonist, and the experiences live in their minds as they are translated to the page, but…
Think Donna Tart (The Goldfinch) lived through a terrorist bombing as a young teen, stole a masterpiece in a state of shock, and became a drug addict? Probably not.
Did Marcus Zusak (The Book Thief) get sent to live far from his mother in war-torn Germany, catch the eye of wise-cracking Death, and befriend a boxer hidden in the basement? That one is a definite, no.
What both these writers understand, deeply, is how people feel. How it feels to be cast adrift, to be young, the enchantment one feels when finding friendship… So, no matter the plot, or the circumstances of the narrative, it all seems real, identifiable, human…
Whether or not I am human right now is open for debate but, I did just publish a book. It didn’t go as I’d planned almost from the outset. And starting about two days ago it felt like I was rocketing way too fast down paths I’d never seen before. However, through dumb luck I managed to put my book out there in the world three weeks earlier than expected. I think from now on I will refer to it as premature publication.
I have one hot tip for you self-publishers, once you approve your manuscript draft and cover on CreateSpace, hold on for one wild ride. Once I set things in motion the most amazing people appeared to keep me firmly in the saddle. And sage advice from CreateSpace and KDP were just a phone call away. The likes of Fabian, Melinda, Raul R., Jason, Laura, and Sid worked their magic with calming voices and, here we are:
If you are one of my Angelic Blogging Dozen who has agreed to read and write a piece about the book, there is no more schedule, whenever you’re ready set those fingers typing.
If I have promised you a signed copy of the book, give me a little while to order copies and get them in the mail.
If you want me to visit your book club via the Hangout at Google+, send me an email.
If you don’t like the ideas of trees converted to print, there will be a Kindle version of the book available in about a week.
And if you have been reading along as I yammer on about Hollywood and my book I thank you deeply.