The best thing about this how-to writing guide, You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams, is the author’s enthusiasm and positive attitude.
Eilizabeth Sims starts the book by declaring: Writing a book is a heroic act, and it is an accomplishment no one can take away from you.
She also advises: you can choose to write with patience, receptiveness, and a heart filled with zest. You can have fun.
- The way to succeed as a writer, by whatever standards you set for yourself, is to persist.
- You are the hero of your own life.
- (Writing) Time is not the point. Productivity is.
- Write like your life depends on it.
- Eat a good breakfast every day.
- You have to be okay with exposing yourself, because that’s the way we best relate to real stories.
- Give up your addiction to struggle … Just let it go.
- Few great artists color inside the lines.
- Distinguish your large cast of characters by using different first initials … and vary your number of syllables and places of emphasis
- While plot is important, good characters can make or break your book.
- Every word you write must serve a purpose, whether to move the action forward or to develop a person (character).
- Open your heartbrain and write from there. Become the person you’re writing about.
- A Ray Bradbury quote: “You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.”
Murder, betrayal, love at first sight, a change of heart, forgiveness--any of these can serve as a heart-clutching moment.
The skeleton of the book becomes a connect-the-dots map of these high moments.
A closing thought: “The best artists know that if they dedicate themselves to the process, a beautiful result will follow. It might not be the result they first envisioned, but it will be honest and true.”
For more by Elizabeth Sims, read my synopsis of her excellent short story class.