Sunday, September 27, 2009

I want to write a book.

There. It is out in the open. I've made it public so now I will be forced out of hiding to actually DO something about it. I've outted myself and there is no putting the genie back into the bottle.

I want to write a book. I have been telling myself for a long time (years!) that I want to try to write a book, and look how far that line of thinking has gotten me? The same story line rolling around in my head, taking up much needed space! I just am not sure where to begin...

Ok, yes.. AT THE BEGINNING... Thanks!

My grandmother used to tell the old family stories when I was a kid, and I was completely enthralled by them. They have grown larger than life at times in my own head, and I've wanted to put them down on paper since I was a little girl. Now that my grandmother is gone, as are most of the other people in this world who would have any memory of these stories, it is down to just me and my mom to find a way to keep them alive. Parts are very hazy, details shaky... but just enough 'truth' to make for a decent laying of groundwork for a historical fiction novel.

I've started listening to podcasts aimed at helping aspiring writers, and I will say I have gotten some good information from them. But looking at the idea of writing at least 80K words, (80,000!!!!!) is more than a little daunting, and from what this acclaimed author of 38 books says, you need at least that many to tell a story well. Holy cow! Then, if I do manage that Herculean feat, will anyone want to read it?

So, which part will win?? Will the ambition and drive and determination side of me take over and allow me to plow through this process, first developing characters and conflicts and story arcs, or will the monster of self-doubt or laziness keep me from seeing this 'little project' through to the end?

This narrator of the podcast I referenced above says one of the things a good writer needs to do is read a whole heck of a lot. CHECK. A good writer also needs to devote time... ok, that may be a problem with a full time job and a full time family, but I am one who writes fast, and types faster, so maybe that will help. He also suggested setting a deadline for yourself so you are not working on The Great American Novel for the next 20 years. Again, potential problem because, in the words of Douglass Adams, "Deadlines amuse me.. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

But maybe, just maybe, I can do this. Now, to get of my arse and find a place to start.

Oh, yeah... That's right.. start at the beginning...


Clan Bell said...

Wonderful! I love historical fiction. I will pay my reservation fee now for a signed copy!

depstein38 said...

Hi Sam! It's Dani here...If you haven't already, get a copy of Annie Lamott's Bird by Bird. It's a great book (and short!) for aspiring writers.

Good luck! I look forward to hearing more...