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The Write Stuff

For the past couple of years I’ve been working on writing a book. Folks often ask “How’s the book coming?” I will tell you. It’s a journey. Like traveling to someplace new, there are stages. The three stages I’ve been through so far are: learning, researching, and decision making.

Learning. I’ve taken lots of classes on writing. Almost of all them were taught by published authors. The first thing they tell you is this: “Don’t expect to get rich writing books.” They should know; they are teaching to help pay the bills. So you write because you like it. Making money will be a bonus.

In addition to the skills I’ve learned, the thing that stands out for me is the irony of writing. It’s a solitary passion, but writers need to share with others. Whether it is chapter by chapter (thanks JS and writing group) or at the end of the first draft, getting critique from others is necessary and helpful. Even if you don’t agree, it gets those creative juices flowing.

Researching. My first idea was to write a travel book. That morphed to a memoir. When that sounded boring, I got inspired to write fiction. For the past year, I’ve focused exclusively on the fiction idea. I’m up to thirty plus chapters and going. With the help of the internet, interviews, and other related books, I’ve tried to make my story as authentic as possible. I made it a little hard on myself by setting my story in 1980.

Decision Making. Part of the fun of writing is that you control the fate of your characters. Because of that power, I’ve become very close to them. Laughing when they laugh, crying when they cry. My job is to remember what my main character wants most and stop her from getting it. That is hard to do, because once she gets what she wants, the story is over. So you pile on the obstacles until she reaches the goal you’ve set for her.

Any more questions? I love to talk about writing.

Correction on Vaya, Maya, Playa post. My photo of the pyramid at Chichen Itza was actually the pyramid at Coba. You can no longer climb the pyramid at Chichen Itza.