Thursday, September 29, 2016

Purge - announcing the proud re-release of my classic novel

Purge by Rob Parnell

Recently I met an editor online by the name of Peter Wilson. 

I can’t quite remember how we began talking. I think he emailed me a question about one of my Academy courses and we hit it off. We got to chatting. 

I was interested in what he had to say because he said he’d been editing a detective thriller that had just been released on Kindle. 

It was a genre piece and I wondered if he might be interested in editing my next detective thriller, at the moment called, All The Right Reasons.  

Peter said he’d be interested and where was the manuscript? 

I had to break it to him that although I’d finished the first draft, I wasn’t ready to hand the story over to him yet. 

You see, that’s the thing with work in progress manuscripts. 

The author has to do everything he can to make the story AND THE TEXT perfect BEFORE he hands the MS over to an editor.

That’s the way of the professional: make your manuscript PERFECT before you even think about letting anyone else read it.

Never show people work in progress!

Not even family members.

Not even writer friends.

NEVER anybody associated with publishing books! 

Now, sadly, a lot of lazy new authors don’t think this way. They think they can write any old crap and just get an editor to fix it. 

Admittedly this phenomenon is a lot more common in the modern nonfiction publishing world where many would-be writers - who are actually more like salespeople disguised as authors - write very quickly to produce often very short e-booklets - and then release them on a weekly basis.

This may seem like a strange way to make a living but I kid you not. 

I’ve read blogs produced by these people and they say that it’s the only way THEY can make a living on Amazon Kindle: they have to release a lot of short (crappy) e-books on a continual basis.

Why would you want to do that? 

Because that’s not my experience. I’ve found that if you take your time and write longer, quality books, then they tend to stay in the book chart for much longer, sometimes AGES. 

For example, some of my books are still in the top 100 of their category TWO to FOUR YEARS after their initial release. I believe in creating the best possible books I can. Whether fiction or nonfiction, no matter how long they take to write and GET RIGHT!

But this article is actually about fiction.

Fiction is generally a much harder sell these days because there’s so much more competition than there used to be. 

In the old days, traditional publishers were able to effectively hold back the tide of new novels by rejecting 99% of all author’s books. Now, authors don’t need to bother with these self-appointed gatekeepers. 

I read recently that about TWENTY new novels are appearing on Amazon and Kindle EVERY DAY. 

That’s a seriously huge amount of authors vying to be read and taken seriously.

And in a world where only the cream will rise to the top, the only trick necessary for a new writer is to remain consistently good. 

It’s tempting to be cavalier about such things, especially when you’re starting out. Plus it’s all too easy to get so scared of putting something online that you never get around to it. 

That’s why you need to engender a nice balance between courage and skill.

Plus, get yourself good beta readers and especially good editors.

As much as you can do yourself, you can NEVER catch all the typos. For some reason, the brain can override what you see and actually put in words that aren’t in the manuscript. 

You literally CAN’T SEE your own mistakes. It's a very strange phenomenon.

Hence the need for a great editor. 

All of which is a preamble to announcing the re-release of my crime thriller novel PURGE.

Considering it’s fiction, the book has done pretty well. It floats in and out of the charts all the time and the reviews are great.

To cut a long story short, Peter - from an editing company he’s calling Grizbokkit Editing Services - offered to edit Purge because, as he put it, it would help him get to know my writing style in preparation for the follow-up novel, All the Right Reasons.

I think he’s done a superb job of editing the story, especially improving the references to Boston, where Peter used to live.

Now if you don’t know already, Purge features my hero character, Matt Johansen. He’s a young cop who keeps getting passed over for promotion and is eager to prove himself to senior management. 

He wants everyone to know he’d make a great detective. Problem is, his behavior and his youthful temperament doesn’t sit right within the Boston Police Department. 

So, he goes it alone when he discovers a serial killer has caused the death of his long lost sister. Purge is a story about redemption because not only is Matt trying to rid the streets of crime single-handedly, he’s also trying to purge some inner demons that keep him from powering ahead in his career.

Of course, there’s an autobiographical strain to Purge - and the follow-up. 

Yeah, Matt is a bit like me, well, more like the way I used to be when I was his age. 

Okay, simply put, in the spirit of constant improvement and giving my readers the best possible experience of my novels, I have updated Purge, probably my best novel. 

And I’d really love for you to get it. It’s only 99 cents for the next couple of days. Feel free to grab it while you can especially if you’re intending to read the follow up when I release it - probably before Xmas this year.

Keep Writing!

Rob@easywaytowrite.com

Your Success is My Concern

https://www.amazon.com/Purge-Matt-Johansen-Crime-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00NETG5F8/

Thursday, August 4, 2016

FREE Writing Course, Book, System - plus Mentor Advice

As part of the roll out of my new Writing Academy, I want to give you access to a FREE fiction writing course.

It's HERE. And it's FREEEEEEEEE!

If the above link isn't working use the one below - click or copy n paste:

Enjoy!

Rob@easywaytowrite.com
Your Success is my Concern

What to Look For In a Writing Mentor
Image
First of all, you have to decide what you need.

Look at your writing critically, decide where you are deficient, define the areas where you need to sharpen your skills, and outline the specific writing goals you want to achieve.

And by specific, I mean very specific.

Is your problem grammar, characters or plotting? Sentence construction or style? Maybe it's motivation or just finding the time. A good mentor can help in all these areas - as long as they know what you need.

When you start seeking out mentors, ask questions. Not only is it important you know what you want, it's important you're confident the mentor can and will deliver for you.

When I take on a new author, I ask lots of questions. First, I want to be sure I can help. Second, I want to build a close connection with the author. Third, I want to be sure the writer knows what to expect - at every stage. Here are a few examples:

Damian came to me with his second novel. He'd lost his way and wasn't sure the book really worked. I agreed to help him because he was enthusiastic and wanted to work hard to learn more about his craft.

I read his book and recognized the problem - it wasn't the story so much as his style, which lacked some immediacy. We worked step by step on his scene construction - deepening the perspective of the protagonist so that he became compelling and believable. After that, the story began to work better and Damian was much happier with his work!

Bill was different. He knew he had a great book. It was his sixth - to all intents and purposes he was a professional. He just wanted his novel proofed and edited for sense.

As I began sending him over corrected chapters, Bill started asking questions about improving his writing style. I was more than happy to offer advice.

A few emails later, Bill understood and appreciated my writing philosophy much better and went away to re-write huge sections of his book, thereby improving the work even more. Bill later told me his agent thought it was his best book so far.

Julia was different again. She'd written only the outline for her novel and saw 'the writing' as a huge task she might not complete without help. 

We spent a lot of time preparing before she started. I showed her how to prioritize her life, organize her time and make room for her writing.

Three months and four drafts later Julia submitted her romance to a publisher.

It's about flexibility - from both the student and the mentor. There must also be communication - usually lots of it - and a certain rapport and trust.

Because just as all authors are different, so are mentors.

Not all of them will be best-selling authors or have a string of writing credits. Some are just good at what they do.

But what do you look for?

Intelligence? Patience? Professionalism? Yes, all of these things.

If academic qualifications are important to you - go for them. But beware, when John, another 'mentoree', came to me, his book had previously been edited by a writing professor - but not to John's satisfaction. The writing had come back 'correct' but so wooden it was almost unreadable!

We worked through the text, deleting qualifiers and all the clumsy (but grammatically correct!) conjunctions until we had writing that was fresh and fun to read. John has now self-published his book in his hometown, much to the joy of his family.

But are those writing credits important to you? Do you believe that only a best-selling author can give you the advice you need? If you do, you might be better advised to buy books like "On Writing" by Stephen King and see what you think.

Failing that, you could contact a famous - or favorite - author and ask if they ever mentor new authors. Most don't but some will.

What about the cost?

Again, it depends on what you want. Just need an overall assessment and a little guidance? You're probably looking at about $300 to $500 for a 100,000-word novel. It's almost an industry standard.

Want to give your book and attitude a thorough workout (editing, reworking etc?) Then budget perhaps double up to $1500 a novel. 

Anything less and you have wonder what you're getting. (You get what you pay for etc.)

Need complete handholding, lots of encouragement and blow by blow assistance? Most reputable mentors will charge anything from $500 to $1000 a month for that - but are usually open to negotiation depending on your circumstances. Some will charge more - a lot more.

But remember.

It's not all about the writing. Sometimes it's about turning you into a writer, gaining the right mentality and putting you on the road of self-discovery, with the confidence and skills to handle success in this industry.

Whatever you get from it - it should be rewarding and fun. Shop around to find a mentor that suits you, makes you feel good about yourself and helps you grow - as a person and an author.
The Easy Way to Write
Keep Writing!
rob@easywaytowrite.com

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Success: What to do when you get there...



You've finally made your pile. 

People respect and admire you. 

You've got the cars, the house, the kids' education is taken care of, you're taking your holidays in all the best places and... what then?

Most people don't think past the 'getting'. 

They just assume their lives will be so fulfilled by being rich that it won't matter what they do with their time when they get there.

Common sense should tell you that it's not going to be like that. 

It's human nature to always want more. 

So what's the answer? Well, here's a rough guide to living life AFTER success!

1. Move On Up

You're gonna have to set bigger goals. 

Achieving what you want is good yes but, guess what, only for about 3 seconds. 

Life can only be fulfilling when you're in need of something - when you want something so much it pulls you out of bed every day.

2. Move On Out

You've got to take bigger risks. 

Ask anyone who stays rich and happy, they'll tell you, we all take risks with money - it's how we got rich in the first place, right? 

That buzz associated with risk is life enhancing. 

Some things work, some things don't. How will you know unless you try?

3. Give It Away

There's no point in hoarding all your money to yourself - or even saving it for your kids - they'll only end up like Paris Hilton, or worse. 

Give at least 10% of your money to people who need it, can use it well and deserve to be helped. 

It all comes back in different ways anyhow, so why not?

4. Bring It On

Educate yourself continuously. 

Find out new things and keep interested in everything - the news, politics, science, history, the arts, whatever gives you a kick and makes you excited and happy to be part of this great big beautiful world.

5. Feel the Burn

Become more creative. 

Stretch yourself into arts and crafts you've only ever dabbled in. 

Like films? Then make movies! 

Like music? Write songs and form a band! 

Enjoy traveling? Get a boat. 

Buy a club, start a new business every year - even if you don't want to work there! 

Employ others to help.

6. Play With Money

As often as you like, analyze your investments and savings and move things around to maximize your net worth. 

Regularly liquidate assets and invest in new things. 

Enjoy working with money and stay informed of opportunities.

7. Be Careful

Beware of fair-weather friends - and con men - lots will appear once the word gets out you've got money! 

Always investigate business and personal ventures thoroughly, using lawyers and the like to help you. 

I can only stress that you'll likely end up very sorry if you don't.

8. Have fun

Whether it's ballooning across the Sahara or just keeping in touch with friends - don't forget that you're here to have fun. 

And enjoy the simple things - the love of a good partner, playing with your children and keeping your mind and body healthy.

It's all too easy to imagine life at the top as glamorous but it's rarely what it seems to be. 

Best that you prepare now, before you get there, or the reality may come as a shock.

Plus, preparing for success will obviously help you condition yourself for it - and, I believe, better attract it!

Keep writing!

Rob Parnell
rob@easywaytowrite.com
Creating Successful Writers The Easy Way to Write

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nine Tips to Improve Your Writing Career


There's really only one duty a writer has - and that is to constantly strive to improve.

Ask any seasoned writer and he or she will tell you that getting better at the craft is probably the most fulfilling aspect of writing. 

Because you are effectively getting better at communicating your ideas - and placing your world view into the minds of others. 

To me, this is an almost magical concept.

So - constant improvement - how does one achieve it? Here are nine short tips:

1. Read Like it's Going Out of Fashion

You've heard it a million times before. You can't love writing without first loving to read. 

Read a lot. 

Read everything. 

Analyse writing and writers. 

Study what works, and what does not, wonder why and learn from it all.

Realise too that the published writing you see has probably been worked and reworked over and over to appear effortless. 

Don't assume professional writers get it down perfect every time. 

They don't. 

Their work, too, has been analysed, edited and beaten into shape by themselves and other editors.

2. Study Your Own Writing

Study every word, every sentence, every phrase. 

Are you maximising the effect of your words? 

Could you say the same thing a different way?

Don't just blindly accept your words as perfect. 

Professionals know there is always another way of stating something, setting a scene, explaining an emotion. 

Too many novice writers fall in love with their words, refusing to accept there might be a better way to get to what is true.

3. Learn to Love Criticism

When we start out, criticism hurts - big time. 

We've bared our soul. 

We've agonized over our words and are proud of what we've said. 

Off-hand comments about our work can feel like a body slam, an attack on our capabilities, our character, our integrity.

But that's not what is going on. 

People love to criticize - it's human nature. 

Even the best writers are criticized. 

The point is to learn from criticism and use it. 

Listen to what is being said, make changes if necessary but do it for yourself. 

You are the final arbiter - but don't be blind or sulky about criticism. 

Take it on board.

4. Read Aloud to Others

Reading out loud can highlight the strengths and weaknesses in your writing. 

Especially in the areas of rhythm, wordiness, and dialogue. 

It's a great test.

Read to friends and family, yes, but also read to other writers. 

Let them make comments. 

Enjoy the process.

Try this. 

Read a short piece to a group of friends/writers. 

Make note of how your writing sounds to them. 

Listen to suggestions. 

Make changes, read it aloud again. 

Keep doing this until everyone involved thinks the writing - every word, every phrase - is perfect.

5. Try Different Styles

It's too easy to get stuck in one area of expertise. 

If you're a fiction buff, try writing magazine articles or screenplays. 

If you're a journalist, try free-form fiction. 

If you're a literary type, try writing advertising copy. 

Don't limit yourself. 

All types of writing are good in their own way and experimenting with them can teach you little tricks that help you become a more mature, fully rounded writer.

Novice writers tend to think they shouldn't experiment, that somehow it might taint their art. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

6. Take Courses, Read More Books on Writing

The process of being taught, of exposing yourself to the ideas of others, cannot be underestimated. 

Even if you disagree with what is being said, it all helps stretch you and give you a deeper understanding of what is good and right for your writing.

When you take lessons in writing, study hard, do the exercises, listen to the feedback, act on it and write some more. 

Your writing will improve the more you do it. 

Don't sit and fret over your writing. 

Just do it.

7. Seek Out Good Advice

I often hear novice writers complain that they're learning nothing new about writing from the various authorities they consult. 

They sound disillusioned as if there's more pertinent information out there if only they could find it.

Odd. considering I've never met a seasoned writer didn't love to debate the absolute basics of word-play, grammar, sentence structure and all the other little things that novices seem to grow weary of hearing.

Remember. 

You can never hear good advice too many times.

8. Give Back

Share your knowledge. 

Teach what you have learnt about writing to others. Too often novice writers can feel there's some sort of clique of professionals who don't want to talk to them or associate with them.

We writers, whatever our abilities, must learn to see ourselves as a community with similar aims - to actively enhance all our writing - to raise the bar and to act for the betterment of all writers.

9. Constantly Want More From Yourself

Stretch yourself continuously. 

Find new ways of expressing yourself.

Writing is sometimes a strange past-time. 

A writing project that begins like an adventure can quickly become an obsession that ends up feeling like some self-inflicted curse!

But all writing experience is good, whether it's fun or not. 

Not all of your writing is going to be fun and fulfilling. 

Some of it may be a hard slog or a nuisance. 

This is okay.

If you want to succeed in writing, it should become your life, your passion, even your reason to be. 

It's a fine and noble way of life. 

If you want it, embrace it, and your writing will benefit enormously. 

Go for it!

Best of luck and - whatever you do:

Keep Writing!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Create a Writer's Blog

You don't need me to tell you that self-publicity is a writer's secret weapon.

Bear in mind that when you decide you want to be a published author, it's most likely going to take you anywhere between two to five years to see your books in print - that's the reality of the traditional publishing world.

Even if you go the faster route - by self-publishing, then it's still a good idea to give yourself a two to three year period to really get to grips with your new career.

So why not use that time to build a following? 

Why wait until the last minute to start your promotional activities when the Internet is a perfect place to get people reading your writing, and getting to know and like you through a regular blog?

It's not as if it costs anything - except your time - so you have no real excuse, do you?

Where to Start

Go immediately to Blogger.com and register a blog spot for yourself, either using your own name or some other phrase that means something to you.

Don't use Wordpress unless you're a complete masochist - and have time to waste on readme files. 

I have no idea why people use Wordpress at all - it's the most complicated interface I have ever come across and requires a degree in engineering just to install. 

I have one Wordpress site that I come back to every now and then but each time it just seems to get more complicated for no good reason!

In contrast, Blogger.com is easy. 

It does everything for you - and the dashboard where you can add your own stuff is beautifully simple to understand. 

The only drawback (if you can call it that) is that you need a Gmail account to get started. 

No sweat.

What to Say

You don't need to have publishing credits to start talking about writing. 

It's your blog. 

You can say what you like. 

That's the beauty of the Net. 

Your opinion, your worldview, is just as valid as anyone else's.

In fact, that's the trick I think: to be as honest and as frank as you can be. 

That's what will make you unique.

Don't just trot out the standard lines on writing issues. 

Get in touch with how you really feel about your craft and state it, boldly, with pride.

Blogs become popular over time because people dip into them, enjoy what they read and remember you. 

And they remember sincerity for a lot longer than you simply trying to sell yourself, your books and your writing.

How Often You Should Blog

The major search engines trawl the Net at least once a week. Their spiders are looking for new content.

Therefore, in order for a blog to start appearing in search listings you need to keep updating it. 

Once a week ideally - but that's not always practical.

Regularity is the key - and relevance. 

Add topicality to your blog by mentioning world events, personalities, and contemporary issues. 

These all raise your blog's profile - and its popularity.

Building a popular blog can take around a year or two - there's no getting around that. 

But that's why you need to start yours now. 

Think of your writing career as a long term investment. 

In a couple of years from now, wouldn't it be better to know that you've had blog readers - and loyal subscribers over that time?

Make sure you sign up for all the RSS feeds on offer - and you'll find, over time, you'll get more and more visitors.

Find an Angle

If nothing else, the media teaches us one thing: it's the angle that grabs attention.

Start a blog that details your week by week journey through your book or novel, for instance.

Write about a cause you believe in. 

Save the Whales, Obesity, Cancer Cures for example.

Take a religious or political stance (and get ready for vociferous responses!)

Or simply write about where you live, or the history of a place you love.

You'll find like-minded people attracted to your site - and, one day, maybe a news service will contact you to use you as an authority in an interview. 

These things happen.

Can You Get Paid to Blog?

Yep. 

Put Google Ads on your blog. 

Blogger.com shows you how to do this. 

It's free and whenever anyone clicks on an ad within your blog page, you get paid. 

Easy. Money for jam.

You should also put an email catcher on your blog.

Getresponse.com is free - as are many others. 

Do a search on 'free autoresponders' - and most will integrate seamlessly with Blogger.com. 

I use Aweber.com - they've been around forever.

After a few months, when you've built a small list, you can offer ebooks you've written to your subscribers, maybe through Kindle - which is a very easy way to publish yourself. 

Or you can offer other writer's book and courses as an affiliate.

Why not? Everyone's doing it - why leave money on the table?

In the Future You'll Wish You Started Now

Because when you do have your own published books out there in the real world, you'll have people you can tell about them. 

Publishers and Amazon will like you for being able to say you have readymade fans to whom you can promote your work.

Book sales don't just happen nowadays. 

You have to find avenues of publicity and ways of increasing the probability you'll sell your books on the publisher's behalf.

And every little helps.

Till next time,

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Low Price V-Courses, How to Write an Essay

Believe it or not, 'how to write an essay' is one of the top search terms on the Internet. I guess because there's a lot of panic stricken students out there who need this information in a hurry!

See the article below for guidance.

Rob Parnell's Low Price Courses


Super Success 101 - everything you need to know about productivity, achievement, getting rich, and securing the life of your dreams. $10 

The Easy Way to Write Short Stories That Sell - the title says it all. $12

Become a Freelance Writer - 59 easy ways to make money writing. $10

Secrets of a Freelance Writer - 96 ways to make more money writing. $10

Achieve Your Dream - how to get anything you want, almost instantly. $10


How to Write An Essay


First of all, you should rest assured that compared to any other kind of writing, school essays are a breeze. 

You don't need to be particularly bright or skilled to pull them off. You just need to be able to read the question - and most of the work is already done.

You can get away with around 500 words too - which is pretty short. 

You can write up to around 2000 words if you want to look like some kind of a swot. 

But padding out an essay with extra words really doesn't cut it - or impress the teacher - so my advice is to keep it short.

A good essay is broken down into 5 parts:

1. Intro

2. Terms of reference

3. Discussion

4. Analysis

5. Conclusion

Basically five paragraphs of around 100 words each, which equates to about 2 or 3 sentences in each paragraph, tops.

Now let's look at how you fill that word count.

1. In the Intro you basically need to restate the question - to show you understand it and then make some sort of reference to the fact that you're going to answer it in the essay.

So, say you have a question about what makes Peru an important country, you would say something like: Peru is a fascinating country and this is an interesting question because Peru is important, as I shall outline below... etc.,

2. Next, within the terms of reference, you need to define the context in which the question will be answered. Here's where you tell the teacher what you already know - even if you feel like you're stating the obvious.

In the above example you might explain that Peru is a place in South America, that a country is a self contained economy and that, compared to the whole wide world, it's small potatoes...etc.,

3. In the third paragraph you need to deal with the question. It's best to have at least two facts up your sleeve to drop into the essay at this point.

But don't panic.

Look again at the question. Why are you being asked it? What's the most obvious answer? In the case of Peru - you might guess it's important because of its culture (a good answer to any question by the way), therefore tourism is going to be a factor - and maybe its because the people invented chocolate, sacrificial pyramids and cocaine - all valid things to bring into the essay.

4. In the fourth paragraph you need only discuss the relevance of the things you mentioned in the third paragraph.

For instance you might mention how chocolate is popular because it's tasty, how cocaine is a bad thing because it kills people, how pulling out people's hearts on sacrificial altars probably seemed like a good idea at the time etc., etc.

Easy, but even easier is the:

5. Conclusion. Here you restate the question and tell the teacher you've answered it and proved your answer by the repeating the statements you've already made.

You might say, in conclusion, Peru is an important country because of its chocolate and cocaine production and because tourists like to visit the pyramids and spend their money there.

Voila - an essay likely to receive a gold star.

Here's a tip. Teachers know this essay structure like the back their hand. 

Therefore it's unlikely they'll do anything but skim your essay looking for the two or three points you're making. 

So there's really no point to filling your essay with lots of interesting and insightful facts - it will only confuse them and cause them to work harder, which they don't like doing.

Keep your essay short and sweet and if in doubt, waffle. 

Teachers, at the end of the day, prefer to see that you've tried, no matter what your answer.

I hope this helps.

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell
Your Success is My Concern
The Easy Way to Write

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Writing a Novel Quickly

Time is the writer's enemy. 

Finding it - and using it effectively - is the quest of all writers, whatever their level of expertise.

Many people have said to me that writing a novel in 30 days is a great goal but that it assumes that you can write around 2000 to 3000 words a day. 

Fine in theory. 

But how long it takes to write that much varies with the individual.

3000 words may take some writers all day - and if that's the case then it can be impractical to write for eight hours, seven days a week until you've written a first draft.

As you probably imagine, I, too, have lots of commitments to juggle in order to find time to write fiction - so how did I manage to write the first draft of a new novel in just under two months recently?

I tried an experiment - one that I think might help you.

Instead of writing flat out until the novel was finished, I knew I would have to allocate just a little time every day. Ten minutes here, half an hour there - and longer bursts if the time managed to appear.

I set myself a target of between just 500 and 1000 words a day.

Each morning I would wake up knowing that, whatever happened, I would have to write at least something towards that day's target. 

And I never agonized - or even thought about - what I was going to write during the 'novel writing session.'

I found this allowed me to go about the rest of the day's activities without too much guilt -and meant that I had to do all my thinking about the story while I was writing, which I think is a very good discipline to nurture. 

Mainly because 'thinking about writing' is not usually very productive unless you're actually writing...

I used a very rough template - basically a series of twenty dot points that I knew my plot would have to cover. 

I also decided that my chapters could be as short as a liked. 

And that, if I ran out of ideas or things to say, I would move on to the next dot point without beating myself up about it.

I found that at the beginning, writing 1000 words took about two hours sometimes - usually from ten to midday. 

But as I progressed through the novel I managed the 1000 words in about three quarters of an hour - as long as I never went back to edit, re-read or change anything. Of course I was aware that I was most times writing very roughly, probably creating ungrammatical sentences and making lots of typos. 

I didn't let that bother me.

The point of the exercise was to get the first draft down, quickly.

I let the characters tell me the story and lead me wherever they wanted to go. 

The relationships changed from how I'd originally imagined them - and things happened I wasn't expecting but I decided all that was okay. 

In fact, I decided that was the point of writing quickly - to give the characters room to be real and make believable choices, thereby making the story stronger.

At the end of the two months, and 60000 words later, I was amazed at the result - and very proud of what I'd done.

Now, I know how I work. 

I know that when I return for the second draft, the 60000 words will become 80000, perhaps more. 

But the beauty of all those later drafts to come is that, by and large, the novel is done - it's realized - because the first draft is down - the story, though very rough around the edges, is essentially complete.

This is a great psychological hurdle to have overcome - and will be for you if you want to try it.

You can use all of the other tips and techniques I recommend in The Easy Way to Write a Novel but allow yourself time - to work within a more practical framework that suits you and your lifestyle, whatever that may consist of.

And what if you get blocked?

What if you just can't get ANY words out some days?

Don't beat yourself up. 

Stay calm. 

Believe that the ideas will come - and just write anything that comes to mind, even if it's not relevant to the story. 

It doesn't matter - you can always edit stuff out later. 

The main trick is to teach yourself to write without question, to write without criticizing your own talent or ability.

Let the writing process become an invisible conduit between your mind and the page. 

Because that's your ultimate aim - you get what's in your mind down on paper and not let the writing itself get in the way of that, as it can and so often does!

Some days you might not feel like writing - do it anyway.

Some days you might not have the time - find it anyway.

Some days, believe me, you'll feel you're wasting your time and your story is ridiculous, pointless - but you MUST carry on, as have all writers who've made their mark in the past.

Self doubt is the writer's curse, but you must learn to overcome it. And there's only one way to do that:

Keep going, keep doing,

Keep Writing!

The Easy Way to Write

Welcome to the official blog of the Easy Way to Write from Rob Parnell, updated weekly - sometimes more often!