TOMORROW EVENING: Ann Dee Ellis
TIME: 7 pee em
DOING WHAT: reading and talking about her newest novel You May Already be a Winner (which if you ask me, IS a winner)
WHERE: Provo Library–550 North University
AND GET THIS: You May Already be a Winner is on AMAZON BEST BOOKS OF THE MONTH list for July in the ages 9-12 category and BARNES & NOBLE BEST BOOKS OF THE MONTH LIST for young readers!
WHAT’S NEXT: The Newbery!
Over on Facebook, my friend Matthew S Armstrong is challenging artists to draw every day for one month. All this month of July! Fill a sketchbook!
My youngest is doing this. So far, so good. She shows me each evening.
This month of July I want to–again–write one first line of a new book everyday. Five minutes to do it. Great opening lines. If it takes less than five minutes, I can write line 2, 3, 4. But it can’t take longer. Five minutes to get something new on the page, daily.
Remember Richard Peck? You’re no better than your first line? That opening is a key. The entryway.
As I have done this first line on a new novel before (three minutes to write them then!), I’ve found I need a few moments to think. Think about what I might want this book to be, otherwise I can’t do it. Not for 30 days straight. I don’t often start an idea with a line of writing.
I read somewhere that the opening line of a book should have voice, a little bit of mystery and character in it. Can you do that with each start?
That opening is also a promise of what is to come. It’s exciting!
So join in. With Matthew or me or both of us.
What is your worst writing habit?
Mine is feeling overwhelmed with my novel.
We’ve wrestled, sorta, and the pages have won.
Here’s what I figure. On a good day I can write a thousand words in an hour. That’s 5,000 a week. 5,000 words per week X 52 weeks = 260,000 words. An hour a day, 260,000 words in a year. For me, that’s almost five and a half novels. Good novels? Maybe not. But drafts.
So why not do that?
Stephen King does. 2,000 words per day. Every day. Seven days a week.
Write a list of everything that gets in your way of writing, no matter how small.
Write a list why you deserve to write. Write everything, even your secret desires.
Now go through list number one. What things on this list are more important than you being happy? Cross those things off. Some stuff will be left, that’s the way it should be. There ARE things more important than writing. (Who knew?)
Last of all, pen a note to yourself saying why it’s okay to write even the hard stuff.
Now go write your dreams.
The process of writing a novel:
What is the best part?
The hardest part?
The most trying part?
what do you hope to accomplish? Be reasonable and think through this answer.
Change, though I mostly hate it, is good.
Especially if we change who we are into someone better. You just quit smoking? Excellent change! You’ve read a self-help book and now love who you are, even a little bit more than yesterday? Keep going, you’re on the right track! You’re picking up your wet towels so the roaches can’t rest under them? Woot woot! BIG change!
Change is good in our books, too.
I once read a novel that was supposed to be The Next Big Thing. The main character wanted something, and she went out and got it.
The problem was what she wanted. It wasn’t something we shoot for if we want to be happy people. And that’s okay. All characters don’t have to be like me. But this girl, she never really changed going after her weird goal or when she got what she wanted. She was static. Stagnate. Boring.
The book flopped because there was no character growth. No moral struggle. No putting herself at risk and overcoming because of her choices.
How does your character change?
Is this significant? Is it enough?
Did you character get there in a way where she was stretching and growing and becoming new somehow?
Was she at odds with herself, morally, to make these changes?
If you were going to hide gold, where would you put it?
I have to admit, I love gold.
And our writing, when done well, is as shiny as gold.
That’s my goal: to write as well as possible.
Your writing prompt today is reading.
Read this great article, and maybe even buy the book.
I love William Zinsser. I’ve never read this book, but I know I would love what he says here, as I believe these ten hints are genius.
PS Check out the links below the article for more things to read before you write today.