Why do you want to be a WriterWhat makes you want to be a writer?
There You Want to Be A Warrior.....
This is a set of nine papers with advices for prospective authors, initially authored in 1988-1990, released in various French magazines and now available on the web. Okay, you want to be a novelist. Now, first you type. They do not think of the letter, or speak about the letter, or are worried about the sale of the material or how the material is or anything else.
You' re writing. That seems evident, but apparently it is not, because there are a thousand out there who come to authors and say things like: "Oh, I have this beautiful narrative concept I want to tell you about". And I don't have much of a spare minute to do it myself...."
Or, perhaps instead of "I don't have time," it's "I couldn't do it right," or some other pretext. One does not become a novelist by wanting or discussing it, or by presenting an idea to a novelist. Maybe you'll become a scriptwriter by submitting stories to the producer, but that's a whole different kind of thing.
Authors are not in the trade of assisting other peoples type for one thing and generally have much of the idea of their own. Don't have enough paperwork? You either take your sweetest moments or forgetting to be a novelist. So you couldn't live up to your history? Well, then practise your typing until you can. "Yes," you say, "but folks like Ray Bradbury just sits down and pours out all the beautiful fiction, and when I type it, it just noisy!
Bradbury burnt his first millions of words because they were unsalable rubbish. This beautiful piece of fiction not only pours out, it is extracted by a lot of work and then has to be washed out. The rubbish that came out of it is washed out. The majority of authors began to write tons of rubbish. Almost every author has done so.
Only two authors I have ever seen selling their first tales were Robert Heinlein* and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and both are very specific cases. A way to look at it is to imagine this big pile of tales in your mind, like a huge pile of combs. And you want all that beautiful, mature, wealthy shit on the ground.
and you throw away the shit that's obviously worthless. If you find things that might be good, try it - you sent it to one of these tender blooms, an editorial. But someday, if you keep working on it, you'll get some beautiful, wealthy, fruitful things, and the editors will devour them right away.
Heinlein, perhaps because of his marine backdrop and because he started older than most writers do, seems to have had no trash on the stack to rub off--though some folks may be arguing that he went through his whole attachment of good material, and through the end scooped out the spoil from below, rather than any of the stack.
It seems that some humans have been digging for years and never achieve anything meaningful. So, you really have to type, not just look at the stack and think about what might be in it. The idea of a pitch is just one more plus point. The only way to get into it is to do it. A lot of authors use a day-to-day quote, and it's a good way to get to grips with yourself and convey some of the self-discipline that a novelist needs.
One doesn't waiting until one knows what one is writing. Certain individuals have certain working times, and during this period they are forced to spend a lot of effort sitting at the keypad and writing. Fredrik Pohl has a three-page odds per second. Everyday, every single one, he is writing three pages of something a single page.
I' ve been told that Stephen King has a quotient of several thousand words a word a word, but we won't be talking about such a group. At that time, when I did not yet have children and was able to cope with one thing, my quote was a thousand words a full working days. Thousand words a word a word per working week, five times a month (I could choose which five, and could make any given date a "weekend" as long as I had not used up my two weekends this week).
If, on a certain date, I could not postpone writing at all, then I could - but the amount I owing would double as soon as I went to sleep. I didn't allow kidnapping either - if I had written 8,000 words on Tuesday, I would have to add another thousand on Wednesday. Had I not written anything on Wednesday, my quote for Thursday would be 3,000 (doubled on Wednesday, plus Thursday).
At first I enumerated more than 250 words if they were longer than about 1000 words, but I quit when I wrote many and many very long deeds and no tales. I often wrote a thousand words, fell tired into my sleep, got up the next day and threw the whole thing away.
It was not about a thousand good words every single working days; it was about doing something in the hope of finding a few good words here and there and developing the script. It' worked too; I've now written over a million words, won prizes and so on, but in 1974, when I fixed my quote, I wrote nothing but dump.
Took me four years to sell a novel (I was at college for two years, which doesn't count). So, if you want to be a novelist, don't discuss it, don't schedule it, don't worry about the market, don't fret about it if it stinks - do it! Continue with your letter! Put on serviettes at dinner while your other hands are holding a slice, if that's the only elapsed you can find, but do it!
Compete, tell tales, make theatre pieces, article, everything! There' s no short cut, no other way to become a novelist! Type it! He wrote a shitty novel before selling his first novel, which never sells when he was still out.