…just endlessly rediscovered!!!
With the simple fact that these days your book will have an upward struggle to be seen on Amazon, considering there are slightly over 38 million other books there already, each one vying for your attention. Does the product of all your hard work stand a chance? One thing is blindingly obvious. It must be an attention grabber, and I’m not talking about the cover!!!
There was a time when I used to write several thousand words per day. In fact I subscribed to the idea that unless I wrote at least five thousand words a day, I wasn’t really writing, merely dawdling. Oh how wrong I was! These days I barely write two hundred words in one day.
Simple – I spend the rest of the day and the one after, even the one after that, endlessly checking each word, often substituting a far better one. I lengthen or shorten sentences, move them around in the paragraph before me. All of this until I’m satisfied that the end product flows. Or to put it another way – unlike many of my fellow writers I prefer painting a picture with as few words as is necessary…
Ask yourselves how many books have you started to read then discarded because they grind to a halt on nearly every page. Usually because the author in question favours endless detail over getting on with the story???
I recall watching this fifty-eight minute episode of Fry’s Planet Word back in 2012 (don’t ignore the red highlighted link I’ve given you. CLICK ON IT!!!) on the subject of James Joyce and the written word. Steven Fry was discussing Joyce’s way of working with an enthusiastic aficionado in Dublin.
Imagine my total surprise when it was revealed that Joyce approached each work in progress in exactly the same way as myself. Some days he would write a chapter, some days a paragraph. But more often than not he would only write a sentence, spending hours poring over it to make sure that each word was the best possible choice to use, and that it was in just the right place within the sentence.
Don’t get me wrong now, I’m not claiming by any stretch of the imagination to be the 21st century version of writers like James Joyce, or George Orwell, or even my literary hero J.R.R Tolkien, who all used this method. But when I learn from programmes like Steven Fry’s that I have unwittingly adopted and employed the same writing techniques, all of a sudden I don’t feel alone anymore. More to the point I no longer think, or believe, that high daily word counts are the be all and end all. Neither should you…
Finally; remember what I said at the conclusion of the first paragraph – Your book must be an attention grabber, I’m not talking about the cover.
Which by the way if you’ve spent money on both content and cover, chances are you will never get your money back, if you’ve written something that doesn’t appeal to the mass market, people will not bother to read.
You must get the reader hooked within the first two pages!!!