Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Laura Carlson on Writing a Book Part I of III - You Have a Story to Tell!

Write a book
Have you ever thought of writing a book? I do. I'm really happy to have an editor over to visit Colorimetry and share some on Writing a Book... all week. Yeppers!!  This is Part I of III. If Laura Carlson looks familiar, that's 'cause Dan Rix mentioned her...
Speaking of soul mates, I met mine five years ago and have been hopelessly in love since:D She’s an independent editor, and we spend our evenings drinking wine and talking like crazy people about writing, editing, and the future of book publishing.
You do have Entanglement by now, right?

While you go get your copy, grab a cookie and some coffee... Laura Carlson has arrived!

Today I want to discuss something both exciting and incredibly frightening, writing a book. You’ve always wanted to write a book; you’ve promised yourself you would one day, but it hasn’t happened.

My discussion will tackle why books seem so difficult to begin, and why this mindset is really a mirage. I will go over common lies would-be writers tell themselves. Lastly, I will discuss how to burn down these fears and get started writing that book you’ve always promised yourself you’d write.


Many of you who are reading this have never written a book. Now your time has come. Writing is not an exclusive group, and the only thing that separates you from writers who’ve written a book is that the latter group has developed a habit of sitting down and writing. This difference is not based on “talent,” or something outside of your control; this difference is based on habit formation.

So let’s discuss that story you’ve kept bottled up for months, years, decades, and let’s identify what prevents you from writing that story. Grab a pen a sheet of paper—you’ll want to write down some of your ideas while reading this.

If I can manage to get you excited enough about you story, and if I can convince you that your mental blocks are all in your mind, then I will discuss how to motivate yourself to write your book!

Your Story

I am absolutely positive each and every one of you has a story to tell; some may have several or dozens. But every individual has one. Some of these stories are completely fictional. Others are based on real people and real events.

This is where you’re going to need that pen and paper. Think about this story. You might have shelved it a long time ago, so this exercise could be a little difficult. Let me help you by asking a few questions, and write down your answers.

·         What’s your story about? If it’s just a fascinating idea, extrapolate—what story could come out of it?

·         What drew you to this story?

·         Why is it worth telling?

·         Have you thought of the characters involved in that story? If so, what are they like?

·         Are there any details of that story that really grabbed you? If so, what are they?

This is where you begin.

Action Time!!

Go ahead and get out a pen & paper and jot down some thoughts. Ok... or a keyboard. You could just reply, even, although then I'll have your story ideas. *waggles eyebrows*

I'll start. I have LOTS of stories. Stories upon stories. Everywhere I look I find more stories. Like, the field next to my house has horses sometimes and there was this super-dirty white one, the sort of pony that looks like no amount of scrubbing could ever produce the color it looks like it was supposed to be born with. I was picking blackberries with a friend... and glanced over at the field... and there was that horse, standing in a patch of sunlight on the other side of a dark grove of trees. I swear the thing was radiant. It glowed. Maybe you'll say I need glasses, but the way it stood there, in that sunshine... I realized it thought it was a unicorn. Yep. All this time.

I want to make the plodding beast a hidden otherworldly thing in a fae story... although, maybe it would be better from the horse's point of view, like he's so darn misunderstood. Lol. Ok... maybe I'm goofin' now, but I did see that horse and it did look like it wanted to be in a story, not just the sunshine.

Come back tomorrow (with your notes) to tackle Reasons We Avoid Writing!

About Me
Laura Carlson, Editor
American Editing Services

Laura Carlson is founder and editor of American Editing Services, an editing business based out of Santa Barbara, California.

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