By A. Gavazzoni – author of Behind The Door and Lara’s Journal
Hello to my readers, and thanks for all the nice words I receive every day. You really make my day and give me courage to write more.
Some people think writing is like living in a dream world. In this fairy tale world, the writer is there, sitting before her computer, and suddenly, muses begin to play harps in his mind, and he gets a wonderful inspiration for a scene… Beautiful, hmm? But not real… Dear readers, I have to tell you the truth.
Writing is an art, for sure, but writing is like any other job. If you want to do it for a living, if you want to be a professional writer, you have to behave as if you are in any other profession you might choose, and if you want to be a success in your career, you’re in for a lot of hard work.
Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Well, that fits the definition of writing, in my opinion.
When I start writing a novel (I’ve just finished my second one, and you’ll hear about that a lot soon), I take some measures:
First, before I start writing, I establish exactly where I want to go. I make plans for the story, I take notes, and I write in a file all I expect to achieve—beginning, middle, and the end of the story. It’s like creating the architectural plans for a grand building.
After I have a plan, I have to do research. For instance, if I intend to write about a character who is a neuroscientist, I will research everything I can about his field, using the Internet, books, articles, films, etc. I will take notes, and then I will use them to build this character and his scenes.
For the settings, I perform exactly the same procedure. I try to visit a place I plan to include in the book whenever I can and take pictures, or I do a lot of research online, so I can create each setting as realistically and exact as I possibly can…especially if I’m writing about real places.
After the practical part is done, I try to impregnate my mind with ideas; I watch movies about the subject I intend to write about or, I listen to music, I read books—I take some time to let my mind absorb the world.
When I have the book planned out, the setting and other research completed, and my mind is full of ideas, only then do I start to write, and believe me, writing is all about discipline.
I try to keep to a schedule for writing, and that helps a lot! I have a goal of writing at least 1.000 words per day—some days I can, some days I can’t, but when I can’t, I’ll write twice as much the next day. Is there someone pushing me to do that? No, that’s a commitment I made to myself. As you can imagine, I’m not inspired to create something wonderful everyday. But even so, I follow my schedule and just write, knowing I won’t keep everything. Every few days, I’ll re-read what I wrote some days earlier, cut, and revise.
Even thought I plan each book, those plans often change while I write, and here comes the influence of inspiration… New characters grow in my mind, I come up with new scenes for the previously planned characters, and sometimes the characters behave differently than I had expected. I give free rein to my imagination when I write, without forgetting where I’m heading with the overall story.
For those days when inspiration is lacking, I write about the basic information I need to convey in each scene, based on my notes. When the inspiration returns, sometimes I can whip through entire chapters in a flash, and all that’s left is for me to add some music and perfume to embellish it.
Writing can also be tiring, and as I’ve just shown above, some days, the process is very frustrating, just as with any other profession, but in the end, the joy of having your own book to hold more than compensates for all effort. You can be proud of yourself because you did it…you worked hard, and your ideas are going to last forever.
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