Monday, 19 March 2018

Fiction or Non-Fiction: Which is Easiest to Write?

As you know, I've recently finished writing a first draft manuscript of my latest novel.

It's only my third attempt at writing fiction as I'm usually a non-fiction writer.  And I have to say that writing fiction is a lot different to writing non-fiction and in so many ways.

So I was thinking; which is the easiest to write? Fiction or non-fiction?

And these are my thoughts from my own experience:

To write fiction isn't as easy as most people think.

Before I even attempt to begin writing, I first have to plan out my characters, including their backgrounds, their appearance (including the way they dress and present themselves), their fears and their wants. The main character usually has to have a flaw or two that they have to overcome in some way.

As well and the main characters, I also have to plan out all the minor characters who have small, but significant parts to play in the story. So I need to know them well including their looks and personalities.

And then I have to figure out the main plot and the subplots which all has to lead to a satisfactory ending. To begin with, I don't need to know exactly how it will all lead to the end, only that it will.

I then have to pull it all together in a timeline of events, making sure that it all runs smoothly and avoid things like characters knowing about something before they should, and figuring out how they get to know things and when. Creating a good outline and blueprint is where my imagination really kicks in to help the story unfold.

For non-fiction, most of what I write is what I already know about, but it still takes quite a bit of figuring out because knowing something, and explaining it in writing, are two completely different things.

I also need to do some research to make sure of my facts, and to find out anything I don't already know, and to find other people's view on the subject just to make sure I'm not missing something.

Then I plan out the chapters I need to include and the correct order to write them in plus break them down into different topics within those chapters too.

So, for me, writing non-fiction is easier, but mainly because I'm writing about subjects I already know a lot about. No doubt it would be different if I had to write about a completely new subject, although I'd still handle it in the same way except that I'd need to do much more research.

Which means that whether fiction or non-fiction is easier to write, depends on the author.

And we all know what kind of books we like to write.

It's really down to having to discipline to sit down and do it.

The next question is which books sell more, fiction or non-fiction?

Which is what we'll look at next.


Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less. 
Laid out in an easy to follow style and suitable for writing fiction and non-fiction. Just follow the advice as you go through the course and by the end, you’ll have your manuscript written.

Friday, 16 March 2018

How to Write 30,000 Words/Month When You Don't Have Time To Write

It's hard to find time to write every day, especially when some days, you just don't feel like writing at all.

We've all been there.

You wake up with good intentions and then other things come up and then you're just too tired to write.

Well, there's a thing that I do that, if I do it consistently, helps me to write at least thirty thousand words a month, even when I don't feel like I have time to write every day.

And that thing is that I always spend the first hour of the day writing.

As soon as I sit down to write, I make sure that the first thing I do is work on my latest book or writing project.

That way, no matter what else happens in the day, I've got my most important writing done.

Some days, I do it when I sit down to write, and other days I get up early and do it before I do anything else.

And the great thing about it is that, done consistently, that one hour of writing every day can end up being 30,000 words a month.

The math is simple. I can write at an average of 1,500 words an hour, which isn't difficult at all because it's only 25 words a minute.

So that 1,500 words an hour multiplied by 5 days a week is 7,500 words. And 4 weeks a month is 30,000.

It really is that simple.

And that hard.

The hard part is making sure you commit to doing it.

So even if you don't think you have time to write, dedicate your first hour of the day to writing and you can write a book a month, even if you have to get up an hour earlier every day.


Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less. 
Laid out in an easy to follow style and suitable for writing fiction and non-fiction. Just follow the advice as you go through the course and by the end, you’ll have your manuscript written. And it only takes an hour a day.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Finding Time to Write

Being a writer isn't hard.

But being a working writer who earns all their income from their writing is hard.

And one of the reasons it's hard is because it requires a lot of uninterrupted hours of work.

Unlike other careers, writing requires 100% focus and concentration. I can do other jobs while being somewhat distracted, but when I write, I need to give it my full attention.

Every day I feel like I'm bombarded with the desire to do anything but write and this is because of the deep attention I have to give my writing, so it can feel much easier to do other things.

So I have to make sure that I sit down and write every day, even though I don't always feel like doing it.

One of the ways to find time to write every day is to figure out what approach is the best way for me.

Different people work in different ways, depending on their life, job and other life commitments.

But the 5 best known ways of finding time to write are:

Monastic. This means totally cutting yourself off from everything while you write, including no phone calls, no texts, no internet and not even allowing others to speak to you at all while you're working. And if necessary, go away from home to write like Maya Angelou did. She always rented a hotel room for a few weeks and would go there every day to do nothing but lay on the bed and write. Many other writers have also hidden themselves away at hotels so that they can write including Tennessee Williams, Charles Dickens and Stephen King.

Split times. This means having some times when you write and the rest of the time for more shallow (or other) jobs. This works well for those who have family and other commitments who can't shut themselves off completely like a monastic. So you might carve out one part of the day, or the week or the month, that you use only for writing.

Set times. This means that you set aside a certain amount of time for writing and never waiver from it, like say, you write from 5am to 7am before you go to work every day.

Journalistic. This is how many writers work and it means grabbing whatever time you can for writing whenever you find a free slot in your day/evening. It's a moment to moment approach but sometimes it's all you can do if, for instance, you have young children.

So what this all means is that you need to find out which approach to writing works best for you rather than try and live your ideal.

In other words,  you may want to shut yourself off like a monastic and go to a luxury hotel and write every day, but your job, your kids and your spouse, means you can't do it and so the journalistic approach to writing is all that you can do.

But whatever your situation, make sure it works and that you get your writing done.


Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less.
Laid out in an easy to follow style and suitable for writing fiction and non-fiction. Just follow the advice as you go through the course, just one hour a day, and by the end, you’ll have your manuscript written.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Do You Need a Dedicated Writing Place

I'm currently reading a book called Deep Work, by Cal Newport.

In it, he discusses the need for having a place where you go to do your deep work.

The argument for having such a space is that going to it puts you into the 'zone' for the work you have to do.

Many writers are the same. They have a space or a room where they work and they find that it instantly puts them into work-mode.

And it got me to thinking about whether it really is necessary to have a dedicated writing space.

From my own experience, I do tend to start the day sitting at my writing desk.

And I do indeed find it helps to get me instantly into writing mode.

I sit down, check my emails, then open my diary to see what I have on the writing agenda for the day.

But the thing is that I don't always stay at my desk.

Sometimes, it gets really hot inside so if there's a breeze (and there often is because I live on a mountain), I go and sit outside on the veranda.

Or if I want to get immersed in some offline work, then I'll sometimes venture out to the park or the library because I find that I have fewer distractions when I'm not at home. And because I have nothing else to do, I get plenty of writing done.

So while I find it really useful to have a dedicated writing space, I also like to move around, depending on what I'm working on and other factors (like the hot weather).

I think the answer then, is that it all depends on how your mind is wired as to whether you can work anywhere or only in one place.

Everyone is different, as is every day when you want to write but other things keep coming up and getting in the way.

So I'd say, have a dedicated writing space, but at the same time, be flexible.

Today I'm at my desk because it's a bit cooler outside due to recent heavy rains and a looming cyclone off the coast. Fingers crossed that it doesn't hit land.

And in the meantime, I'll stay inside at my dedicated place, and get more writing done.