I finished a short book, 101GNOA (abbreviated), and am working on 101GNOA, 2. I find that when I have a book in ready format (for Amazon, Kindle, for example), it’s very easy to expand upon what has already been written. You’ll be hearing more about these two, little power-punching books in about five months from now or so once they clear copyright.
Although some may disagree, for me personally, inspiration is the key to good writing. Without inspiration, I don’t believe that I would be able to offer readers memorable material.
There is a certain humanity to Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth that has stayed with me over the years. I can’t say the same for the multitude of novels I’ve read, some written by well-known authors. This speaks volumes about an inexplicable quality that has so much more to do with the soul than an ability to mechanistically assemble carefully crafted sentences like car parts in a factory.
What is it, therefore, that makes one story—or parts thereof—stick to one’s memory and others slip away into oblivion?
Research and critical thinking
Combined with inspiration is research and critical thinking. When inspiration comes—and count your blessings when it does—you’ll need to structure it in such a way as to make sense. There must be cohesion and it must fit inside a larger context. In other words, it’s got to make sense; and I’m not just talking about the plot, names of characters, event sequence, color cordination, etc. I’m referring to meaning that goes beyond syntax, grammar, spelling, plot, paragraph formation, suspense and conclusion.
When I write and feel inspired, there is a ‘flow’ that starts which can be likened to a flowing stream of water. Momentum builds up and content ‘pours’ out of me. This is the kind of inspiration that writers should aspire for. Why? Why should we be inspired at all? I believe that writers for whom it is the case should stop struggling in order to express themselves.
The big secret is that writing can and should be a lot easier than it’s made out to be, provided you’re inspired.
Working versus struggling
To say that one must struggle in order to produce memorable content is a myth.
Doing research for, say, a historical novel—I’ve done this and can speak to it—constitutes work but doesn’t represent a struggle. Struggling is when we must exert effort in order to say something.
Uplifting oneself toward inspiration
To be inspired one has to seek inspiration or, at the very least, be open to receive it. When inspiration ‘knocks’ at the door, it’s up to you to open it.
Inspiration will come, but it won’t come all the time. That’s because it isn’t humanly possible to be inspired at all times. It is, however, within the realm of possibility to be inspired some of the time.
Whatever its frequency, inspiration is the source of memorable content that makes an impact and changes lives.
May you be inspired!