Advice from Writers, to Writers

by Allison Horton on

The best of advice from our authors

We spend a lot of time talking to our authors while we build their eBooks, but we also like to keep in touch after they're released. We've conducted interviews with several successful authors to learn about their titles, backgrounds, and thoughts on digital publishing. While we're at it, we often pick their brains on how they get over the hardest part of the process: writing. At Vook, we make building and selling eBooks easy, but no amount of technology can cure writer's block forever.

If you're stuck staring at a blank page, we've culled the best writing advice that authors have shared with Vook. Read more below and feel free to add your comments.

Take notes everywhere you go. Joanna Crispi, world traveler, tells Vook, "I don’t keep a travel journal, but I write everything longhand in notebooks. I fill them up with notes, drafts of novels, random observations. I date each notebook, so it makes it easy to go back and find what I wrote at any particular time." Kate Milford similarly uses notebooks: "I’m really drawn to oddball stuff, weird pockets of history, folklore, and roadside stuff.  A lot of times I’ll come across these things, note them down, think 'man that would be a unique thing for a story.'  Then five or six ideas will come together and I write 15-20 pages to see if it continues to come together."

Build a map before diving in. Joanna adds, "I don’t start writing until I see the whole story in my head. Then I write the story down in 2-3 pages, from beginning to end. When you start writing before you have a beginning and an end, it’s easy to get lost. So I recommend having a map in case you lose your bearings."

Give yourself a daily goal to stay disciplined. "When it comes down to the draft, I can turn out a lot of good work if I just make myself write 1500 words everyday, whether or not I’m on a deadline," notes Kate.

"Do it everyday," Dorothy Hoobler tells Vook.  "It’s hard to meet deadlines if you don’t work on a regular basis.  Otherwise, you get writer’s block.  It’s one thing to write a paper in college the night before it’s due; it’s hard to write a book the night before."

"You can’t wait until you’re inspired to write," adds her husband, Thomas Hoobler.  "You’re not going to be inspired everyday. Even though you’re not ready to write the moment you sit down, you stare at the screen or paper and eventually you get there. You’ll get ideas that you wouldn’t have had were you not sitting there being receptive to your brain." Note: Thomas also likes writing longhand and then transferring to the computer.

"Writing is re-writing," says Ariane de Bonvoisin.  "Expect to re-write things dozens of times, so don't be attached to anything.  A word, paragraph, chapter, order, character, name...everything can change."

Finally, "write what you know, but write," advises Warren Adler. "I consider myself an artist. And if you’re an artist, you go no matter what. You do it because you have to. I can no more stop writing than I can stop breathing. That’s what a real writer or artist knows in his gut." 

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