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Writing Books/first time writer


hi paul,
i have been wanting to write a book for a few years now.  i am always interested in cultural behavior, human psychology and mentality, personal betterment, etc...  so i have built up a lot of thoughts and believes over the years.
finally, i started writing last weekend.  the thoughts, the ideas, all just come together and now i have a synopsis written (2 pages), the main characters defined, and four chapters under development.
am very excited but also at the same time feeling unsure of this unchartered territory.
i have many many questions but i dont want to be overwhelming here.
how can i sustain my effort now.  i am on such a roll that everything that i am writing, it ties nicely back to the theme of my fiction.  am sure i will hit a wall somewhere, especially when i start to develop the chapters line by line.
any advice for a rookie on common writing problems when it comes to creativity.  and what should i do to get someone to read my draft to see if it is good or at least what i want it to be?
thank you.

hi brendan
to be on a roll is a good thing! keep up the momentum. my advice is fairly straightforward: stick to a routine if you can, that is, set aside the same amount of time each day, and do not under any circumstances give up when you get discouraged.
you might be lucky and not get discouraged but the reality is that it at some point you will think you are getting nowhere. your good writing might deteriorate or your characters may not develop as you like or you may run out of ideas or be forced to change ideas. all these things are or can be deeply de-stabilising but the important thing is to recognise that hitting hard times is all part of what it is to be a writer. I think I read somewhere that Tolstoy wrote 'war and Peace' 6 times before he was happy with it - and all without a word processor!

i also suggest you join a writers group - have a look around the web, there must be something like this where you live and there is probably an organistion or group that will be able to read drafts and to give you feedback, though often this is not a free service. family and friends are usually not good critics - if they don't like it or think it doesn't work, they are likely not to tell you because they don't want to hurt your feeling.

good luck with the writing - and remember that perseverance is one of the most important things in being a writer and you WILL have days where the project feels like it's falling apart - but soldier on!


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Paul Watt


Advice on rewriting PhD dissertations into books; advice on sending manuscripts to scholarly publishers; how copyediting works; what to expect in the production process; explain what to do if a university press rejects your manuscript. I do NOT assess manuscripts


10 years publishing experience at Addison Wesley Longman, and Cambridge University Press Australia and the United Kingdom

Bachelor of Music; Master of Arts; PhD is almost finished! I also teach in editing and publishing courses at university level, both undergraduate and graduate

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