Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It Doesn't Take a Genius

Click on the title of this blog and you will see the definition of a genius. Done? OK, now you know what I am not, and guess what, you're not either. All of the Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees on the planet will not help you when you sit down to compose that first sentence in your attempt to write a novel.

What you are attempting to do seems so difficult that most people won't even try. That first sentence is really just a matter of baring your soul to the whole planet, knowing they are going to ridicule you into obscurity. While contemplating my first sentence, I though about jumping off a cliff as an alternative. My thoughts were, What the hell am I thinking? I don't even know how to write! God, I hope no one reads this.

The sentence started with one word. That word was Detective. I looked at the screen and realized one word wasn't enough. Of course it wasn't enough, dumb ass, I was trying to write a novel, I thought to myself. So, I typed the second word which was Mull. OK, what about Mull, I reasoned. Then came the third word and then the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. Holy cow, I was off to the races! Before I knew it, I had completed a chapter.

It was at this point that I realized that novels were just words strung together in a meaningful way so as to tell a story. Before the words came to me, I had a mental picture of the scene. Once I pictured the scene, the words came to me from that scene and flowed onto the page.

I was excited to continue and continue I did. Three months later I had the rough manuscript of Evil in the Mirror. No one was more surprised than I. How can it be this easy? I learned later that, in my case, the hard part was editing and proofing. What I couldn't believe was that I had written a novel, and during the process I would e-mail chapters to family and all of the feedback was more than just positive. Everyone wanted to know when the book was coming out so they could read it.

I have since finished the sequel and started the third book in the series. The moral of the story? Well, you don't have to be educated to be a writer. I barely graduated high school and spent many years in construction wishing I could write a book. I have learned that you can truly do anything you set your mind to. The trick is to write that first word. Look at it for a while and then write the second one and third....

Write on,


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