Making Stuff Up

You could write a book on this topic. Writing fiction … from the beginning … to publication …
But hopefully, my personal journey will reassure you, perhaps a beginning writer, that it’s possible. I had been a non-fiction writer, a free-lance journalist for over 25 years raising five amazing children on three continents. I was a stay at home mom endeavoring to keep my skills honed by freelancing articles. Moving often, it seemed prudent to be on tap to help children adjust to new cultures in Europe and South Africa. But that’s another book waiting to be written.

For now, suffice it to say that switching to fiction seemed in the beginning to be a piece of cake.

Who wouldn’t enjoy sitting down and making stuff up.

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I started years ago, but I got serious ten years ago, attending writers conferences, joining writing organizations, interviewing writers and participating in a welcoming critique group through the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. Never before had I had that kind of support.

Which leads me to say this: If you think you can’t do it, stop reading. But if there is a part of you that wants to find out if you could do it, you’re who I am looking for.

When an idea hits you — like creating another world, or putting a new story into a world you’re familiar with, enjoy. But, if you aren’t having fun, then go knit or start an aquarium or find something else that turns you on.

Above all else, don’t tell me “I think it would be fun but I just don’t have time right now.” You can search the web and read writers’ experiences and comments on that topic. Finding time.

Perhaps the turn on will be a moment when the right person at the right time says the right thing.

“If you write one page a day, in a year you’ll have a book.” Something so simple. But that was the moment for me. When I heard the lack of time commitment, the simplicity, I was hooked.  I had five children under my roof in New Jersey and simply decided to get up earlier and write one hour every morning. My whole day went better. Why? Because my personal goal, my passion for writing would be fulfilled first before my hectic day ever started.

Tons of people who work full-time write their stories while traveling to work on the subways or trains or planes. You do it where you are. When you can. You have to figure it out. Make it happen. I promise you a great ride.

Let your imagination soar. Find your passion. If it’s raising fruit flies, begin there. You hate commuting? Write about a world where teleporting is available. If you have a place where you left your heart, start there.

One last thought. Don’t expect your book to stay within your original parameters. It will take on legs of its own.

During an online class from Gotham Writers, with my book well on its way to being finished, the professor gave us an assignment. “Spend two or more hours researching, discovering information you’ve never seen before.” That research led me and eventually my readers into a world of muti killing, where innocent women and children become victims when their body parts are sold. The final product supposedly brings good luck. Not so much for the victims. And this practice continues today in South Africa.

So my point is do not presume to know what your book is about. There’s more. Much more. Look for it.

5 thoughts on “Making Stuff Up

  1. Maggie Mainzer October 16, 2014 / 3:04 pm

    I am not a writer. However, reading on how Darla begun to write her book, in spite of all her responsabilities, it made me think that her philosophy could be applied to other talents, such as singing, acting and more.
    I start reading her book and I couldn’t put it down. Very intriging.

  2. Jo Rock October 17, 2014 / 8:20 am

    Loved reading the book. Got hooked and finished it on a trip back east. Some fine scenery, lots of good reading!!

  3. dspbb October 19, 2014 / 3:43 am

    Interesting thought. And delighted you are enjoying MIDNIGHT IN MALAMULELE! Thanks for your comment!

  4. Maggie Mainzer October 23, 2014 / 9:56 am

    Well, I finished reading the book. I kept reading every day. I was so intrigued !! Great plot! It had a little of everything. Humor, romance, thriller . Keep writing. Even if I don’t read much, you will become my very favorite author.

    • dspbb October 24, 2014 / 4:11 am

      Thanks Maggie. I would love to become your favorite author!

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