Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Agony of Writing

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Howdy, fellow bloggers! I’m back after a six-week hiatus. I felt guilty for neglecting my blog for such a long time, but I had to take care of personal matters.

Finding time and inspiration to write my latest blog post proved to be difficult. My break turned into a hobgoblin that stole my creativity along with two articles I started writing.

It was until today that my muse, disguised as an article, remembered my address and paid me a visit. The article was about Khanh Ha, a Vietnamese author and his first novel, Flesh. The blurb says that this book “takes the reader into dark and delightful places in the human condition, places where allies are not always your friends, true love hurts, and your worst enemy may bring you the most comfort.” I was intrigued. If you are, too, check out his book tour at http://tlcbooktours.com/2012/03/khanh-ha-author-of-flesh-on-tour-mayjune-2012/

In this article, Mr. Ha stated what my mentor always told me, “Write what you know”. He also shared his seven rules for writing a novel:
#1—Find discipline in solitude, in aloneness so you can meet your characters. It’s like a rendezvous with ghosts. Then make that meeting every day or every night with no excuses.

#2—Write each scene as if it were the only thing in your universe—it must command all your attention.
#3—Write one scene well and that scene would breed the next scene.

#4—Leave room for readers to participate: don’t overwrite.

#5—Stop where you still have something to say so the next day you won’t face a dry well.
#6—Read each day to keep your mind off your own writing.

#7—Don’t believe in anybody’s rules except yours.
I appreciated that he added this wonderful quotation by Toni Morrison who once said, “I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.”

Do you follow any of these rules? If you're writing your first novel, do you find inspiration in Morrison’s quotation?