All good books have something in common: they are more real than real life, truer than if they had really happened. Reading any book has an art to it, especially good books. Look at the words as if you are reading them for the first time. Inversely, writing a good book is an art; write as if your are reading your own words, as if you invented language. Break conventions.
The short honest truth is that anyone can write a book. Usually, beginners want permission. You don’t need any. There is no license required, no prerequisites, no test beforehand to pass. Writing is different from publishing in that almost no financial or physical resources are required. Paper, pen, and effort are the only requirements, as shown by thousands of years. If Marquis de Sade and Voltaire could write in prison, anyone can do it in the comfort of suburbia, after lunch at work, while your children are at school or asleep, or at your local coffee shop/library.
If you want to make a book, kill the myths, kill the magic, kill the glamour: a book is a book is a book is just a bunch of words. Just start, like fixing the toaster or running errands. It’s a part of your day. You might seriously suck, but it’s a starting point for the great book. Writing a good book is different in from a bad book only in that it requires work. Be diligent. Where there is made effort, there is a reward.
My truth is that I love to write. I get better the more I read. The more you sound like a good book, the better your books will get. I love the idea that people can just make up creating and fulfill a pseudo reality on a blank canvas, whether for enjoyment of for someone else to read and find pleasure in. That’s freaking cool.
Writing doesn’t have to be pleasurable, but you should enjoy your work at the end, knowing it’s a good book. If you enjoy the sugar sweetness of catching words off-guard and stringing them out to dry in sentences, then great. But some writers just do it because they are good at it. They just form language, beat up linguistic meat, and create good books. How? Sorry. Practice makes perfect.
How do you know if your book is starting with a good idea? Will anyone like the idea? Yes. You have to like it. That’s the beginning. A good book starts with your own approval. You don’t want to seek validation from reviewers or other readers. Many people question others looking for proof that their plot or book summary or idea is any good. You are the one doing all the work. You will be the one investing time and energy into a long process. Like your own work, even if you don’t particularly like writing at first or in general. If you don’t like what you’ve made, scrap it. If you don’t like an idea, omit. If your book idea won’t leave you alone, that’s a sign that it will make for a good book.
Only cowards need permission to write. They procrastinate because they are afraid of failure. Bottom line? Make it and see how your audience reacts. You don’t have to be a good book to be a book. You don’t have to change the world with every word. Just make something and see what happens. No one will see how you started your story, so why bother with fear?
If you care about your book’s every element, that will make for the possibility of a good book. I personally wish I were my every character; makes it easier to write. You have to care about the characters, feel them out, know every little aspect of their psychology. A good book has real characters, many layers and dynamite dimensions.
If in the end, you are the only person that reaps any value from what you create, that in itself justifies your efforts. Years later, when you fall in love with your book all over again, it will be an awesome feeling, simply because you made it. Your book is good because it’s yours, a creation you spent a part of your life on. Whatever is good enough to be a book you’d read is a good book in your opinion. As the author, at the end of the day, it’s your opinion that matters.
Now publishing it? That’s a whole different world.
You need to be logged in to comment