"" Rob Parnell's Writing Academy Blog: Dialogue - The Ultimate Writer's Guide

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dialogue - The Ultimate Writer's Guide

Dear Fellow Writer,

I hope you're writing and that you're happy.

TODAY, my darling wife has released a new book on fiction creation:

Dialogue - The Ultimate Writer's Guide
99 Cents for ONLY 24 hours - then it goes up to RKP: $7.49

To follow up on the runaway success of her Show Don't Tell book, Robyn Opie Parnell has compiled a new look (and the final word!) on creating the best dialogue for your fiction.

Remember, Robyn has had 94 books published by different publishers all over the world - so you can guarantee she knows exactly what she's talking about!

99 Cents for ONLY 24 hours - then it goes up to RKP: $7.49
Dialogue - The Ultimate Writer's Guide


On Wednesday, after six weeks of 2000+ words a day, I finished the first draft of my latest crime thriller: Purge. It's come in at 75,000 wordslonger than I expected. However, it may well double in size during the second draft - that's my thinking at the moment.

For the time being though, I will leave the first draft to thaw for the next month while I work on something else - probably a nonfiction project - and then return to the manuscript when I feel I have enough distance to rewrite the story as a full sized novel.

Click HERE to discover and peruse my Amazon books.

Keep writing!

Your First Week as a Full Time Writer

Your First Week as a Full Time Writer

Last week I said that you should plan to have just three main activities outlined at the beginning of your writing career.

1. Your number one priority (like novel writing etc.)

2. Your 'take a break' activity (blogging etc.)

3. The sure thing - the writing activity that will guarantee income (editing, ghosting etc.)

Why just three?

Mainly because, when you're starting your writing career, more than three will be too much to handle.

More than three and you'll spread yourself too thinly and likely achieve little - which will be frustrating to you and everyone around you.

Plus, your three main writing activities are not the only things you need to focus on during your working week. 
No. Think of your three 'things to do' as your core business.

But real life is not just about writing. 

In order to be a fully rounded person, you have other considerations too. 

Your health; your spiritual needs; your need to give love, affection and time to others; your need to study and learn about new things; your fundamental need for joy, happiness and your right to relax and let go sometimes.  

In life, everything is interconnected. 

When those around grow concerned about your intention to start a writing career, they're often worried that you will somehow change your priorities in regard to all the other things in your life. 

In order to counter this - because as a writer it is easy to get obsessed - you need to make sure that part of your weekly 'action plan' takes every aspect of your life into consideration.

Your Typical Working Week

When I made the decision to become a full time writer for the final time, I realized I would need to take a radical approach.

Previously I had discovered that working hard at writing all day, for some reason, did not cut it.

For instance, one of the times before, I went full force into writing plays and film scripts.

Fine for about two weeks. 

Then I started getting more interested in playing solitaire on the computer - and then a shoot em up game that I kept promising myself I'd stop after the next level. 

Within a short while I was drinking beer for inspiration. Nice but naughty.

Pretty soon I'd run out of money and within a mere six weeks, I was back at work as an office temp. D'oh!

Warning: this could happen to you if you don't plan for writing independence properly!

A time previous to that I'd gone all out to write a novel. 

After two weeks of writing all day, I noticed I was getting weird aches and pains in my back and sides. I kept getting up at first, pacing between sentences, then I decided that long walks might be good for me, then walks to friends and to the pub, then no sitting at all for long periods - instead using time for thinking while avoiding writing. 

Pretty soon I was looking up the Musicians Wanted ads and the novel was shelved...

While doing nothing but writing might sound glamorous and fulfilling at first, it rarely stays that way, unless you take into account that you're not just a writer, you're a person too - with other issues that need to be addressed.

The final time I launched into a full time writing career, the one I'm still on, fourteen years later, I did it properly.

Here are five questions I asked myself before I took the plunge:

               1. What am I going to do to relax?

               2. What am I going to do to keep healthy - mentally and physically?

               3. What am I going to do to have fun?

               4. What am I going to do to give?

               5. What am I going to do to show my appreciation for my partner?

To be honest it was these, non-writing questions that enabled me to stay motivated and focused on what had to be done over the coming years.

As an exercise, write your own answers to the above questions. 

During your working week, as well as allocating time to your writing, you must also allocate time to these other non-writing activities. 

Don't kid yourself into believing that you can focus on these other issues outside of the working day. You're designing a lifestyle here. You need to be a fully rounded person all of the time in order to write. You have to be whole, right from day one.

So instead of launching into only writing in my first month as a full time writer, I also made time for other things. 

For instance, I always took lunch breaks because I knew I needed them to unwind.

I also took time out to watch a fun TV show during the day.  

I spent an hour a day cleaning up the house because I knew my partner liked that. 

I gave away ten percent of everything I earned (which wasn't much!) to a local charity.

I turned off the computer for an hour or two every day so that I could read and study other writers.

I joined a gym so I could stay fit and went two or three times a week - during the day when it was nice and quiet.

I scheduled a trip out once a week, for a drive or a walk in the country.

In short, I made sure that I was mentally and physically self sufficient as a way of reinforcing to my subconscious that from now on, this is my life. 

I decided, right from day one, that there was no need to work flat out all the time at the beginning because I didn't intend to work flat out at anything ever again! 

Do you get what I mean?

If you're changing your life, you need to be realistic and honest with yourself. 

Changing everything all at once is not going to work. 

You're the way you are for a reason.

Don't just ask yourself what writing you want to do. Also ask, What do you need long term to remain comfortable, healthy and happy? 

Coming to terms with your answers to these personal questions, I believe, is crucial to your long term success.

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell

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