Welcome to my page dedicated to anyone who's always wanted to write a novel, but didn't know where to start. I'll post a tip each day from my book YOUR PERSONAL FICTION-WRITING COACH: 365 Days of Motivation & Tips to Write a Great Book! and then, I want to hear from you:  Like the Personal Fiction-Writing Coach FB page and leave a comment to let me and your fellow writers know if the day's tip or writing exercise resonates with you and your project. Grab your writing pals and send them over, too!

Read this first.

So you want to be a writer? Or maybe you’re already a writer, but can’t seem to get that novel written? Or you’ve written a few books, but the thrill is gone. Is there a trick, you wonder, to writing a great book, or even finishing a so-so book? Why, yes—there are three tricks, actually, that veteran writers like me keep top secret (shhhh!):

  1. Get started already.
  2. Clunk through it.
  3. Find ways not to stop until you get to The End.

The list probably isn’t the romantic, idealistic answer you were hoping for, but I wrote this book with the idea of dispensing daily inspiration to get you to think about your story—and to write. Because I know from experience your motivation will give out before your imagination will. This book is structured to ease you through the life-cycle of creating a full-length novel, from broad stroke advice and self-evaluating questions, to more specific tips when you get to the planning and writing stages. I’ve also included pitfalls to avoid, lessons I’ve learned and techniques to help you manage your writing time.

If you like guarantees, writing isn’t for you. That said, if you write a novel and put it out into the universe, I guarantee you will:

  • Learn a lot about yourself along the way. (Are you funny? Mean? Truthful? Brave?)
  • Be fulfilled in a way only other writers can comprehend. (It’s intoxicating.)
  • Change the world some. (Something that wasn’t there before, suddenly will be.)

And that’s cool. Ready? Let’s do this. ~

This daily serial will run through December 31. Each day's writing tip or exercise will be posted for 24 hours, 4am Eastern to 4am Eastern. Set a reminder on your calendar, fridge, or phone so you don't miss a single day of advice to get your novel finished!  (For general writing advice and to find out how I sold my first book, check out my Writers Q&A page.)

206. Recycling ideas

If you’re of a certain age, you might remember the Paul Masson wine commercial where spokesman Orson Welles delivered the famous slogan, “We will sell no wine before its time.” It can be like that with book ideas—some ideas are simply born before their time. Many years ago I had the inkling I wanted to write a mystery series about a body moving duo. But I couldn’t make the characters work—a husband and wife? Girlfriend and boyfriend? Two sisters? Two brothers? Mother and daughter? I knew I wanted my main character to be a young contemporary woman, and I simply couldn’t figure out why an attractive, hip woman would move bodies for the morgue. I didn’t want someone who’d grown up in the business—she would be too knowledgeable, and that would eliminate the fish-out-of-water element. She wouldn’t do it for money—there are too many other things she could do. Since I had other books under contract, I mentally shelved the idea while the pieces kept shuffling around in my mind.

Years later, I wrote Party Crashers that featured as a secondary character a young woman who worked at Neiman Marcus and who’d raised her younger brother who was constantly in trouble. And then it hit me—a young woman who felt parental toward her younger brother could get pulled into body moving if he got a job with the morgue and needed her help. Suddenly my Body Movers idea zoomed back to the forefront.

So even if you have to park a beloved idea for a while, if it’s a robust concept, it will circle back around when its time comes.  ~

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365 Days of Motivation & Tips to Write a Great Book!
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