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The Art of Storytelling: Every Good Book Started out as an Idea

It has been eight years since I began my self-publishing journey. In eight years I authored sixteen books with my name and work featured in six anthologies ranging from paranormal romance to self - help and during this time, I am always asked by those seeking to put their dreams from pen to paper about how did I start? For some time, my response has been simple: I just write. There isn't a secret recipe or formula that I can dish out that will make your dream of becoming a writer come to life other than you actually sitting down and allowing the words to flow through you.

But then again, is it?

For years, I have studied "authors" who manage to spew out book after book each month (or at the very least every two to three months) and proudly boast about the strength of his or her "pen game". Mind you, the usage of a sound editor is foreign to them and most of them lack the understanding that a strong story is not belched out within thirty days. Yes, a full length fifty thousand (and plus) novel can be written within a month. However, once you type in your concluding phrase or statement, it just means that you have thus completed the FIRST DRAFT. But see, thanks to the cleverness of a handful of authors who figured out the algorithms of social media and Amazon's page reads through Kindle Unlimited, the lot of them quickly graduated from "author" to "publisher" and hence consider themselves "qualified" to dictate what makes a good story. These individuals have also singlehandedly assisted in creating an atmosphere of "binge reading" to satisfy the literary demands of their fan bases and now, Amazon is flooded with poorly edited, half written tales with repetitive tropes and scenes that will ultimately leave a reader "starving" for more.

Amazon has become like a McDonalds, but instead of dishing out questionably nutritious food for the body, it is producing "fast food" for the mind. These same authors and publishers are again dictating what constitutes key character development, the usage of simplified descriptive imagery, and unorganized plots and themes as if it is gold. It is like the blind leading the blind. But I digress...

So to step away from that long winded rant, lets start with WHY do you want to write a book? What gave you the idea? Fame? Fortune? Popularity? Are you experiencing difficulty in finding books that you enjoy, so you figured you should write your own?

Every good book started out as an idea...

Here is my tip for aspiring authors: You want to write a book. Good. You are going to need that desire to fuel you all the way through until you reached the end of the story. WRITE the idea down. Go grab a notebook (any notebook and keep in mind this same notebook will ultimately become your best friend) and a pen, sit somewhere quiet where you can think clearly and write that idea down. If the idea strikes you and you are unable to reach for that notebook, put it down in your phone.

Marinate on it. Start with who. Who are the characters? What do they look like? What are they saying to you? What kind of conversations are they are having with you in your mind? Listen to their voices; visualize their movement (how do they walk, run, dance, etc...). Where do they live? How do they wear their hair? What is their skin tone? What does the tone of their voice sound like? How do they like to dress? How old are they? What is their race, their culture, beliefs... This is where character development comes to play. The more detailed you become with your descriptions, the better.

You want to write a book, right? So this is where you begin. This is YOUR story, so make it great.

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