How many of you would like to write a story? Nora Roberts gives her advice to help us get out of our comfort zone and make a good stab at it. If we could do as she does, and devote eight hours every day to our story, we might really have a successful novel. Robert’s first story was written in 1979 when she was housebound by a blizzard. Since then she has published more that 135 books and was the first writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Even if you aren’t interested in writing Romance Novels, you can learn form this prolific writer.
Nora Roberts says that when a writer sits down to write a story, the only important goal is to tell the story as well a possible. Don’t think about how copies you are going to sell. Think about disciplining yourself to focus on the story. It’s like closing the lid on a box. You go into the story, the story’s in the box with you, and thats all you need to think about. You have to love the process of writing. You can’t say, “I’m going to write a breakout novel.” That’s silly and pompous. If the writer crafts a story that is compelling and he or she puts the time and effort into it, then maybe the author will get lucky and breakout.
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Roberts writes about eight hours every day. She allows the story to evolve in whatever form she selects, or that the story demands. After the story is written, other people market and sell the book. She considers her only job is to tell the story. If it’s successful so be it. If a writer believes there is a cut and dried recipe for writing a best seller, they are wrong because it doesn’t work that way. Character is the key, the plot, and the everything wrapped around it. The writer has to paint the characters quickly and clearly in a short period of time. They must literally jump off the page in your face. They have to appeal to the reader in some way.
If you don’t care about your people, then it’s all action and who cares about that if you don’t care who drives the action or who it happens to. Everyone faces challenges when beginning a book. It begins at page one and continues to the last page. Start with a situation and “what if” and some character types plus the blank page. Now, take the situation and place it in a variety of settings with different backdrops and characters. You don’t have define your story too much. It will reveal itself as you write.
Rewriting is the norm for every writer. Within three or four drafts you will know your character’s personalities, and just who each one is as a person. In the end it comes down to processing the skills to present a story and situation that your readers care about. Relationships are what readers care about with all the complexities, and conflicts. Without interesting people and situations you have no novel. It’s always a challenge, takes focus, determination, and putting in the time to write a story.