January 9, 2019

Happy New Year a little bit late — plus some good advice on how to write a novel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:52 pm

The easiest way to write a book is to start by writing your very first page on New Years Day — and then write one page a day for the rest of the year. By the end of this year, you will have written a 365-page book. Voila! Yeah, I know. It’s not January 1 any more — but you still have time to catch up. Surely you can write just one page a day? What with computer software, smartphones, spell-check and everything? Spare ten minutes a day? “What else you got going on.”

“But what should I write about?” you might ask. No problem. Just take a look at today’s newspaper headlines for inspiration. At least five instant plot scenarios will be lurking right there. “Raiders may move to Las Vegas.” You like sports? Write about that.

Looking for an evil-villain idea for a possible spy thriller? No-brainer. Look no further than the CIA, Mossad, Atlantic Council, Wall Street and/or any one of those weird Saudi princes with a love of hacksaws. Look what these evil-doers have already done to Syria. Imagine what they are planning to do to you too. Write about that.

Want to write a sweetly heart-warming romance about a woman finding true love? Just check out the nearest grocery-story tabloid and/or the society page of the New York Times. Or google “Happy Ending” (not the massage). Or just check out your very own FaceBook page.

Got an itch to write sci-fi? Get inspired by climate catastrophes, weaponized satellites, paramilitary drones or even all those new bans on birth control, abortion and women’s right to choose. Oops, that one’s already been done.

There’s all kinds of really strange stories out there to write about these days — and there’s probably lots of really strange stories in the background of your own life as well.

But my main point here is that it really is easy to write a book if you just break it down into 365 short segments — and start your first segment on New Years Day (or shortly thereafter. Sorry about that.)

“So what if I did write a book,” you might ask next, “then where would I get it published?” No problem there either. Amazon has a self-publishing app that is totally amazing — and free. They do everything for you. Check it out. You’ll be a published author in no time. Mazel tov! And Happy New Year too.


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