Sunday, May 8, 2011

Writing With a Purpose Part 2 -- The Book I've Been Writing But Can't Finish

I love the Glenn Gamble Books Group that I created on facebook as a platform for myself and other writers to discuss book publishing, writing, myself, and other authors' work. A number of aspiring writers have disclosed that they've been working on a book that they can't seem to finish. As I've mentioned in my previous blog, this is not uncommon and its nothing to be ashamed of, but the sooner you get away from this habit, the more productive you'll be as a writer.

In order to avoid writing books you can't finish, you must know why you're writing, what you wanna write about, what the ending will be, and you need to create an outline that incorporates those things. Go to my previous blog for details on creating an outline.

Q: Glenn, what if I already started the story? Do I delete my story and start anew with a brand new outline before rewriting it?

A: No, I do not want you to delete your story simply for the fact that you've been writing it for way too long now. You need to finish your fucking story once and for all.

Q: I don't like your potty-mouth and how do I finish my "fucking" story mister!

A: Refer to the remainder of this blog.

So you have this book -your masterpiece, your story- that you can't seem to finish. What you need to do is STOP writing your story right now and figure out what the ending of the story is going to be "guy gets girl, girl gets guy, hero overcomes addiction, hero defeats evil-doer and rescues everyone, etc." Once you have your ending you must outline the rest of your story with events that happen leading up to the ending. Depending on how much you've written so far, you can had more events or fewer events as you see fit. Whatever you decide for your outline, stick to it as closely as possible as you write in your "filler" to tie in all those events leading up to the ending. Make sure your last event includes the climax, then tie that in to the ending.

Once you've completed your book, determine what kind of writer you are. If you're the type of writer whose really verbose and wrote 70,000 words or more then walk away from your book for a week after you've finished your story then come back to it and reread it to make any cuts to your story that you may see fit then turn it in to your editor. If you don't see any cuts, that's fine too. Now if you're the kind of person who doesn't write really long stories before you're done with your book then turn in your book to your editor as soon as you're finished. Most writers usually write so much that they end up having to cut things out of their story, more than likely this is you. Now on the other hand, there are those writers who barely write just enough to complete their book. Nothing is wrong with this, I happen to be one of those writers myself.

I've been writing poems since high school, blogs since 2006, and I've written two books. Because I've been writing for so long my thoughts are more concise and organized than most aspiring writers because I've written over 100 blogs. I've developed my writing process over a period of years so its more natural for my writing to be more concise than it would be if I decided to write a book after having not written on a regular basis for years. I know what I'm going to write before I fire up MS Word. I know what the story is going to be about and my ending. I pretty much write my outline so that my "filler" doesn't get off-track when I'm writing my book.

So stop what you're writing, determine what your ending will be, outline some events leading up to the ending, and don't forget your climax.

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