Introduction To Creative Writing & Getting Published

why you need an agent

Our lives are dripping in stories. Whether at the office water cooler or at a saloon, bus or club, dining or conference room, we find stories, or the stories find us.

Wanting to create a story is a worthy aspiration. Getting your work published and widely read may gain you both fame and money. So what better way to start this introduction than with a story:

I was feeling extremely fortunate the day I joined my first writing course. The instructor was a famous author. And I had plenty of questions pleading to be answered.

My biggest challenge was the core story. I would read a ton of stories and novels and wonder how writers get all these great material and ideas.

Why did I find so hard to finish my stories? Why did my crystal clear ideas turn into tangled wires as the story progressed?

Unfortunately, those were not the kind of questions this author was prepared to answer. He would tell a bit on how stories work, and send us off with weekly assignments.

Every week, he took our writing apart, told us what was wrong, but not how to fix the wrongs. By the time the course ended, I had even more questions than I had before.

I wasn’t sure if it’s even possible to teach and learn creative writing.

Some time later, I took another writing course by a different instructor. Yet again, I found it ambiguous and disorganized. As if writing is just a matter of guesswork, hit or miss, without any tangible guidelines.

“Does everyone do it like this?,” I asked one day.

“How else?,” the author said. “It’s an art. Not science. You keep working on it till you start getting a feel for it.”

I couldn’t take it anymore. What was this “feel” that I had to wait for? And for how long? Will this feel come all at once, or little by little?

If there is no better way, may be what people say was right. Writers are born. You either have it in you, or you don’t. And may be I don’t.

But eventually, I discovered the most incredible fact. I devoured as many books and courses as possible. Only a few were really great, but enough for me to realize that what people say is a lie.

I knew I could learn because I was learning. Finally, I had what I have been looking for such a long time.

I learned about principles of plotting, structure, character development, settings and more, laid out in a clear, concrete manner.

The day it all came together in my head, it was an epiphany. I was thrilled at what I found, but also furious that it took so long to figure it out.

As a result, I am so excited that I want to share with others what I have learned. I want to tell aspiring writers that they aren’t doomed to be where they are.

They could learn the practical nuts and bolts, instead of getting overwhelmed by fancy theory. Things that work, things they could start using right now.

See, most successful writers are lousy teachers. Coaching to write well is a totally different beast than writing well.

Can you believe that Maxwell Perkins, the great editor who coached people like Thomas Wolfe, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, never wrote fiction himself?

Picasso could never talk about his paintings. On the other hand, Klee taught at length about his paintings and the process which led to them.

About This Blog

As with other creative fields like painting or design, writing can be taught systematically, with basic principles to guide you.

It’s great that you want to write a story. But not any story. You want to write a good story, worthy of getting published.

A good story draws you in, right from the very first line. It makes you stop in your tracks and pay attention to what’s happening. It puts you through an experience as if it’s happening to you. That’s a type of story I hope you’ll be able to write after reading this blog.

If you’re not good at creative writing now, you can learn and improve. As I said before, creative writing can be taught and learned. I have attempted to provide the most specific, sensible and direct coaching through this blog that I wish I had access to when starting out.

After you’ve written a great story, the next step is to get it on the radar of a magazine, publisher or studio.

Getting Published

To a beginner, the world of publishing may seem mysterious, vast and uncrackable. So it’s natural to wonder how to break in? There’s no sugarcoating around it. It is hard. But not impossible.

Thousands of aspiring writers sit down every year to type their first novel. But only a few hundred manage to sell their work to a publisher or studio.

The reason most writers fail isn’t that they didn’t work hard enough. It’s not their fault. They haven’t been given the right tools and coaching.

Good writing and pitching guidance can help a writer develop 10 times faster than otherwise, and make the leap from writer to author. This blog will help you know what you’re doing and why.

Novel, Short Story Or Screenplay?

A novel is typically 60,000 words or more. A screenplay has a format of its own. For a short story, you’ll use the same principles, but with a simpler plot and fewer characters.

Whether you want to write a short story or a series of books, and whether fiction or non fiction, the ingredients are more or less the same.

And they can be learned and passed on to others. You can write a powerful story, get it published and be the author you’ve always wanted to be.

As you go through this blog, remember that no rule is set in stone. Every rule can be broken, as long as you are aware of which rule you’re deviating from and why. You should ultimately do whatever works to achieve the impact you desire.

That’s it for now. If you’re all fired up about the idea of writing your first novel and getting it published, head over to the 8 steps to write fiction and get your work published.