Writing Advice From Best Selling Authors



okay that's scheduled do you put in to write that many books I get up in the morning you sit down and write when I finish ride and go back to bed I'd like to make some remarks about writing first of all my advice is really the same it's the same for anybody writing any kind of book but I guess it's more of a fiction writers like myself then perhaps for others but it's really basically this right what makes a writer is writing you have to write writing to a person like me and asking for advice is in a way a waste of time you have to sit down and you have to write the book of your dreams you have to write what you want to be known for you have to create a universe of your own imprint and there's only one way to do that and that's to kick out the pages every day kick them out and save them you know you may you may write two or three chapters of a book and decide you hate it don't throw it away save it it's very easy to do in the computer age you make a folder for that and put it away you save it but the main thing is to write to create through writing the person you want to be as a writer just get that manuscript done when you have a full manuscript in your hands whether it's a collection of short stories a collection of poems or a novel then it's time to worry about publishing and getting that work out to the world how many words do you write a day when you're working on a book Oh anywhere between two and ten thousand and drillings on really how exciting I I gather my daily writing routine is I'm up at five o'clock shower walk the dog feed the dog at my desk by 6:00 6:30 and I work all day until 5:00 if it's going well I sit in here is happy and smiling and laughing and if it's not people hear me thumping my head against the desk but thankfully more days than not it goes better than not and I find long writing sessions much better than three or four hour sessions because I fall away into the world the novel I do not outline my novels I let the character go with it I actually think the best novels are one that start with a character people will say do you keep a notebook and the answer is I think a writer's notebook is the best way in the world to immortalize bad ideas my idea about a good idea is one that sticks around and sticks around and sticks around it's like to me it's like if you were to put bread crumbs in a strainer and shake it which is what the passage of time is for me it's like shaking a strainer all this stuff that's not very big and not very important just kind of dissolves and falls out but the good stuff stays you know the big pieces stay I've talked to a lot of young writers and what I typically say to them is that there are three things you have to do if you want to write the first is you have to read a lot that's where you're gonna get your fuel you're going to sort of ingest those voices and learn what it is to be a writer by reading what other people have written before you so you have to be a reader if you want to write the second thing is you have to practice writing is like a sport it's like athletics if you don't practice you don't get any better you can't just talk about doing it you have to actually sit in a chair and get out the keyboard or get out the pad of paper and actually write if you can do a little bit every day that's great it doesn't have to be a lot but even a page a day will build up your writing muscles and you'll get better at what you're doing and the third thing just as important is the other two is that you can't give up a lot of people don't get published it's not because they couldn't have it's because they gave up they didn't keep at it they didn't finish that story they were thinking about finishing they got one rejection note and I thought it was the end of the world you have to keep going you have to listen to all those writers who talked about the ream of rejection notes that they had before they finally found a story that they were really meant to tell and that's the thing too you have to find a story not just that you think it would be cool to write but that sort of grabs you and says oh you have to write me that's the story that you should be writing and already argue when you like start to write a book does it just all come then it's usually one at a time especially it's gotten harder because I've written so many books yay and it's usually I mean I'm so lucky because every time I need a new it I need a new idea every month I need an idea month because I do have booked them up and every time I need one I get one usually from a title I don't really have ideas in advance and I some I get title ideas and almost all my ideas come from thinking of a really good title and then seeing where the title leads and so I'll get maybe I'll make a list title ideas and then go back and try to come up with ideas I think I worked backwards from every other author most authors get an idea for a story and then think of a title yeah I saw that as the hardest part well I do too that's you know I have a really good title and I know I don't have to worry about sometimes it's true I've had really good ideas for stories and I couldn't think of titles for them so I threw out the idea really yes I knew I'd never come up with a good time so even you do that just the tail it's just the way I worry just the way it works for me you know I'd be walking down the street I was walking down like that this title pops in my mind Rangers Rangers that's very good turn out to be one of my favorite for goosebumps and so I just had this title and then then you start to think about it what I'm saying well what would happen if kids with drink Rangers maybe they'd get really smart what would happen if they would get smart maybe they'd get smarter and smarter and they get so smart no one could stand you in their lives because they'd be too smart for everyone else and I couldn't stay in school and they lose all their friends and that's how just seems to work for me yeah and the models for me were things like miss to bridge and mrs. bridge which are very very tight short chapters so they left that's where it started for me I'm not shift in a mental hospital yeah mm-hmm that's a great story so the book sir I've been looking through your books we've got quite a lot of them in the office as it turns out and you do like that the short chapter I mean a chapter in most books is you know two and a half pages would be a long chapter in one of your books what's the thinking behind it well tournaire pages wouldn't be a long chapter but yes they we do do the two three four pages I don't know I mean look it's my style I think it would be a disaster if everybody wrote that way but but I have a unique style I was on a panel one time in New York and and the other four writers took themselves pretty seriously but the minor editor said he said you know what's interesting Patterson's the only one of you guys that has a style that's unique you know so you know it's it's my style it's not for everybody and it would be disaster of everybody wrote that way but it's the way I like to communicate I were at scenes Michael Connelly who's a very good mystery writer he says he says what Jim does is says every single chapter I don't always succeed but I try every single chapter moves both the characterization and the action forward and turns on the movie projectors in our heads and that's what I'm trying to do

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