Tip To Winning NaNoWriMo – Lesson #1 How to Eat An Elephant

Tip To Winning NaNoWriMo – Lesson #1 How to Eat An Elephant

One of the more difficult aspects of writing a novel is that it can seem so overwhelming at times. It’s very much like when you look out into your garage and see nothing but piles and piles of stuff scattered everywhere.  You’ll make yourself a pledge that you’re going to clean it up and organize it, but you always end up putting it off. Why?

I’ll bet it’s because seeing all those boxes, and scattered tools, and and all that unused sports equipment just tossed together, probably makes it hard for you to know where to begin.

Writing a novel is exactly like that. It’s not so much about your skill level as it is about finding the willpower to hang on and see it through. I can’t tell you how many people, myself included, often end up psyching themselves out before they ever type one single word.

But I’m luckier than most because whenever I start to feel overwhelmed about tackling any big project, my little sister always tells me the same thing – every time.

“How do you eat an elephant, James? By taking it one bite at a time.”

That’s her way of reminding me that even the biggest of tasks is doable if you just break it down into smaller bites. By starting small,  you discover how to attack bigger jobs in a way that you can easily handle.

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Setting Your Book’s Hook In One Sentence

Blake Snyder's Save The Cat

Whether you’re writing a book, a screenplay, or a blog post, it’s tempting to just dive into your writing project. You’re probably bursting full of ideas and you’re ready to take off and get going.

However, I think you will find that you will likely save yourself time and frustration, as well as create a better end product if you hammer out a solid premise before you start writing.

Writer James N. Frey defines a story’s premise as the following:

“That single core statement of what happens to the characters as a result of the actions of a story. The foundation of your story

In his book Save The Cat, screenwriter Blake Snyder calls this the logline.  Snyder has been writing screenplays for Hollywood for more than twenty years and the very first thing Snyder says that all screenwriters – and writers in general need to master is the art of “the one-line“.

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Becoming the Writing Reaper – Knowing When To Kill Off A Character

how_to_kill_a_character__infographicRecently, while working on the second book of the Extraordinary Accounts of the Oskaloosa Oddities Society, a developmental editor, who was looking over what I had written, commented that a particular scene would work ten times better if a certain character was killed versus another.  I’m here to tell you, the moment I read her comments, I started sweating profusely

Many writers become quite attached to the characters in their stories. In fact, they’ll never let anything bad happen to them at all. I’m guilty of this myself. I want my characters to triumph. I want them to win. But, as a storyteller I can tell you, this approach is both limiting and dangerous.

Good stories are always about characters caught up in struggle. The darker the struggle, the deeper the pull. The other day I was reading how J.K. Rowling has always maintained that killing off so many “Harry Potter” peeps was a difficult but necessary task: that they had to die in order to move the story forward.

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Hello Writing World

Welcome to Mad Hat Writer.

I’m James, and I’m excited that you’re here because it means you take the art of telling stories and the craft of writing just as seriously as I do. It says that you are always on the lookout for new ideas, new insights, and new approaches on how to write and how to publish.

If you want to become a writer but feel uncertain how to begin, you are not alone.

Writing, and especially fiction writing, can seem like a quite difficult and daunting pursuit, even to those who do it everyday. So if you’re starting from nowhere, it may take some work to convince yourself you can actually write that book you’ve always dreamed of.

Yet, in all honesty, becoming a writer is not a difficult matter. Now, to become a best-selling novelist on the New York Times Bestseller List may be very difficult. Most often, the people who dwell there spent years getting there. These people  live in rarefied air to be certain.

But to become a writer or even a published writer is relatively easy.  That’s what this blog will focus on. Helping writers of all levels.

The goal here at Mad Hat Writer is designed to provide simple answers to “how do I become a writer”.  Here we’ll examine strategies that have worked for most beginning writers and to examine the methods of some great writers.

I’ll be sharing ideas from myself and from other writers about every aspect involved in the writing and publishing process. If you’re only interested in a particular aspect – fine, just read the articles that pertain to that one thing. And – if there is some things that you are interested in but can find in information on it, just let me know and I’ll be glad to try and find the answer for you. Heck, I’m always finding out new things myself, so no topic is too abstract.

Mad Hat Writer isn’t just about conveying information either. Mad Hat Writer is also meant to act as a community for Dreamers and Storytellers where members can share their experiences, ask questions, and discover kinship with fellow writers.

The main thing is to help people start pursuing their writing passions now. Today.

So Here We Go?