The World According to Sharon

07Jan10

So my friend Sharon, an emerging writer of young adult fiction, had some advice for me.  First of all, she told me that writing improves as you do more of it.  Of course, I know that, but so far it hasn’t gotten me to put fingers to computer keyboard.  As for Sharon, she is living proof.  With four complete drafts of her first novel under her belt, her critiques have improved exponentially in just a few short months.

Sharon’s recipe?

  • Read tons and tons of book in your genre.
  • Write.  A lot.  Even writing that is imperfect is good writing in the long run.  Her attitude is to write now, edit later.
  • Read books about writing.
  • Read blogs about writing.
  • Have enthusiasm (her secret weapon)

What I’m struggling with now is how to write.  Do I just dive in, chapter by chapter? Do I need to know where my story is going?  Don’t I need to plot out each character so that I know who they are before I begin?  Or will my characters tell me who they are as I write? Should I have an outline?

Today I’m going to put those questions aside and try out writing software.  Sharon uses Scrivner, which is a program I recommended to her.  Why I recommended it, I’m not sure.  I never really figured out how it works.  But Sharon did.  And she likes it.

Author Michael Chabon used Devonthink Pro and Nisus Writer Express to write his ninth published novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.  I’ll try those  as well.

Let me leave you with a word of advice from Chabon, who attributes his success as an author to talent, luck, and discipline.

“Discipline … is the one element of those three things that you can control, and so that is the one you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two.”

I’m assuming that good writing software is also helpful.

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2 Responses to “The World According to Sharon”

  1. 1 Sharon

    The world according to moi? Aw, shucks.

    I like the bit about talent, luck and discipline. I’ve been feeling a lack of all three lately! Must focus on the discipline and hope the other two come tagging along.

  2. 2 Brazo Fuerte

    ¡Viva la Sharona!


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