Tag Archives: good literature

What Does It Take to Write a Great Book?

What Does It Take to Write a Great Book?

Have you ever dreamed of writing your very own book? Making your own mark on the literary world? Creating a classic that will make you famous long after you are dead? Well so has every other writer that has lived. This dream has propelled writers to greatness through the years. But what makes a great book? What separates them from other books? Of course there is really no fool proof plan or special ingredient as to what constitutes a great book. But great books do have certain similarities that could be used to create a great book. Here are some examples that could help you in your quest to make a great book.

Great characters make a great book

Throughout the years one of the staples of truly great books are great characters. This is because great characters are what adds texture and character to a story. They are also what makes the story truly great. Haven’t you noticed that you remember the characters of a book faster than the book itself?

This is because the characters have made a bigger impression on you than the story. Such examples being Alexandre Dumas’ masterpiece The Count of Monte Cristo. The protagonist Edmond Dantes captures the people’s imaginations more than the events of the story because it is through his indomitable will that he was able to escape Chateau Di’f. It was his need for vengeance that propelled him to the heights of French society and allowed him to take revenge on those who wronged him. This character is a perfect symbolism of the strength of the human spirit.

Supporting characters are almost as important as the main character if they are written properly. This is because they provide a foil or stabilizing factor to the main character. One great example is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes series of books had a magnificent main character in Sherlock Holmes because of his brilliance and intricacies but these traits were further explored when the two work together. Dr. Watson accentuates Holmes’ incredible intellect and provides a contrast with him by acting as the straight man of the duo.

The same could even be said about a story’s antagonist. A great antagonist could create an incredible amount of conflict and fear in the storyline and many an antagonist in classic stories have left their mark on literature.

Try to think up something new

One of the most important aspects of writing a great book is coming up with something new. With the many books that have come before your work, there are already a myriad of stories written and because of this you will have to come up with something new. Something that readers have yet to read. The only problem though is that it is easier said than done. Readers can be very finicky about what they like. One book can seem good but unsatisfactory to others. There is no definite formula on what makes a book great. The best you can do is to be adventurous and courageous in your writing.

It is also important that you refine your writing style. You can never be too good at something, and this includes your writing style. Practice your writing every chance you get. You should also personalize your writing style. This way your book can be recognized by readers. This is a great way for you to cultivate a fan base.

Refrain from old clichés

Using old clichés is a big mistake when it comes to writing books. This is because readers are already quite familiar with them. Old clichés can be a lot of things. They can be how a character is written, the writing style or a certain plotline. Old clichés will earn you nothing but reader’s ire. Be original in your writing.

Be tenacious in your writing

One of the best attributes you can have as a writer is tenacity. Having tenacity allows you to weather any obstacle that comes your way. You must accept the fact that there really is no guarantee that your book will be a success. In many ways writing a book is a gamble. On one hand you can achieve your wildest dreams and become rich and famous. On the other hand your book can be lost in the sea of other aspiring books and never reach its full potential.

All in all your greatest advantage when it comes to writing a great book is your love for the written word. A genuine love for writing will not only make you a better writer but it will also make the entire process a joy.

10 Rules for Writers to Live By

10 Rules for Writers to Live By

Being a writer is a full time commitment if you think about it. This is because if you were bitten by the writing bug, you always want to put your thoughts to paper. Sadly though there are also cases where people are passionate about writing one day and then lose all interest on it the next day. In many ways this how you separate the truly serious writer from a fair weather writer. To be a serious writer, you must have the strength of will and conviction to follow through your writing goals and see it through to the very end.

Here are ten rules for writing that truly serious writers should live by.

  1. Plan out your story. To plan out your story does not mean to write it linearly. It means you should have an overall framework of the story. From the start you already have a rough draft of how the story will turn out, and then it is all up to you to fill it out. This way you will have a more structured storyline, but at the same time have elbow room to make changes on the story. It is also helps you avoid writers block because the framework is already set and all you need to do is make variations on the story.
  1. Be very meticulous. When you write, you should double check your work. Although you may be a competent writer with a lot of writing experience under your belt, you are still human and as prone to mistakes as anyone. Nothing turns a reader off more than bad grammar, or heaven forbid a misspelled word. Little mistakes like these could ruin your credibility with readers and your chance of getting your worked recognized or published. This why you should always go the extra mile when it comes to writing.
  1. Have professional writers critique your work. Although it may be a bit painful and embarrassing at first, having professional writers critique your work is a must if you want to grow as a writer. It can be likened to a coach and athlete relationship wherein the coach sees potential in the athlete and pushes him to be the best he can be. Try sending your work to a professional writer. Ask him or her to read your work and give their thoughts on it. It is also imperative that you ask them not to sugarcoat their response because what you are looking for is an honest response to your work.
  1. Do an internet cleanse. As difficult as it may seem, your writing will really benefit from an internet cleanse. Have you ever had this happen to you? You get up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to get to work writing your new novel, then you look at your phone or computer then notice a lot of new notifications and news on the internet. Of course you want to get started on your work, but you think to yourself. A little peek won’t hurt. Then poof you are hooked and waste five hours merely browsing the net and looking through Facebook, losing the best part of the day to get started on your book. The internet is one of the main reasons why people procrastinate, and although it is useful for searching information about certain subjects, should be avoided during writing sessions.
  1. Practice your craft. As a writer you should always endeavor to be the best you can possibly be. This is why you should always set aside a certain part of the day to practice writing. This practice can be anything from writing drills to keeping a journal. Having practice sessions reinforces your mastery of writing and helps correct some of your more glaring weaknesses as a writer.
  1. Make your workplace as comfortable as possible. Writing is a very mentally intensive activity and requires your utmost attention.  This why it is so important that you have a proper work place. It can be your bedroom, a study or even a tree house. The important thing is that it is comfortable and clean. Comfort helps you concentrate while clean surroundings gives you a sense of well-being.
  1. Dig deep within yourself. Consider your mind as a mine and all you have to do is dig deep to find inspiration. The mind is a wellspring of ideas that you can use to create unforgettable literature. All you need to do is look deep within yourself and find it.
  1. Make writing a part of your day to day routine. Writing is a truly immersive thing and needs your full commitment most of the time. This is why you should make it a part of your day to day activities. You can mix it in with your usual routine, such as after your morning jog or later at night when your cores are already done. It all really depends on you and your preferred schedule. The most important thing when it comes to schedules is that you like it and willing to stick with it.
  1. Exercise. Although it may seem out of place, exercise is also quite important when it comes to writing. Having good physical health helps you in your writing endeavors by making you feel better about your physical well-being and also the exercise gives you a chance to sweat out the toxins from your system and making you feel lighter and fresher.
  1. Cultivate a love of writing and literature. You can never love literature too much. If you are truly serious about writing, you should make it a top priority and do your best to cultivate your skills and read good literature at the same time. Good literature will not only inspire you to be a better writer but also give you a richer imagination which you can use to create your own stories. Just remember that writing is a limitless art form that you can use to reach your highest potential.