Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Magic of the Mind

If you ask almost any writer out there how you start your novel, the answer they will give will be this... "Just start!"

You may then be thinking, "Sure, that's helpful." This thought would be dripping with sarcasm. But in all honest
y, that is the best advice a writer could give you. How do you think any writer ever got his novel finished? He just started.

I'll go into it a little more for you though. Writing is a highly creative process. Every creative process has to be born somewhere. It has to start. You can't plant a bulb and expect a flower the next day and you can't decide to write a novel and see the finished product the next day. It just won't happen.

However, once that bulb is planted the plant starts to grow. You don't see it at first. You have no idea what's going on underneath the soil, but it is growing. Eventually the first little shoot breaks through the surface. Soon, it's three inches tall. Before long, it's a tulip. Funny thing about tulips is they multiply. You plant one the first year and you get three bulbs the next year. Eventually you'll have a field full of tulips.

This is how your creative mind works. You plant the seed that you're going to write a novel and then you sit down and you start to write. Your first words may be terrible, but if they are that's okay. Keep going! Like the tulip bulb those words will multiply and become beautiful. Creativity creates creativity. The more you write the more you'll find ideas and inspiration coming at you everywhere you turn. If you get writer's block, keep going! You can always cut what you don't like, and you never know what seeds of inspiration might come from those portions you cut. So those writers should tell you this. "Just start... and don't stop! Keep going, keep going, keep going!"

Another piece of advice I think is worth sharing is that writing is an act of the heart and soul. When you write, feel what you write, experience the world through the eyes of the character, and let them tell their stories through you. Don't think, feel. Remember, you can always go back later and adjust what you've written, but a good story comes from the heart. It's a small piece of the writer's soul that she has laid bare for all to see. These are the stories that leave an impact. These are the books that leave the reader in wonder when the last word finally falls from the page. So don't think, feel, and never stop. I'll leave you with this quote from Ray Bradbury.

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