Posts Tagged ‘novels’

Definitions for abrazo – noun [ah-brah-thaw/saw]

  1. Spanish. An embrace – used in greeting someone.

He had watched them embrace many times before—warm, friendly, safe—but now he noticed the abrazo lingered, first arms and then eyes and he suddenly knew she was gone.



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Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.

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If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.

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I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.


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Do you write for yourself? Or, do you write for your readers?

Most writers, especially fiction writers, will tell you to write for yourself. If the story presents itself, or if you’ve got something inside that’s bursting to get out, then write it. If you try to write for your readers or publishers or fame and fortune, then you will lose that authenticity that is you, and chances are the book won’t do very well. Remember, you are the secret ingredient to making your work a success. Without your essence, your experiences, your feelings, your DNA, your work won’t mould together and come to life.

At my local library a panel of authors came together to advertise their books and to do book signings. Of the six authors, one was experienced with multiple books published, while the rest were first time self-published authors, and it showed. While the newbies shamefully plugged their merchandise like it was the revolutionary steak-knife-set, urging the modest crowd to trust and buy their product, the experienced author was measured and calm. The first timers hogged the microphone, spruiking their sales pitches, camouflaging their pleading with fake smiles, and it did nothing more than to turn me away—coming across lifeless and boring and desperate and instantly uninteresting, and sadly their books with their bold covers and interesting titles, did the same.

Now, hold on, hold on a minute! I’m not judging a book by its cover, okay. I’m judging it by its author … there’s a difference.

Now back to my guy. His words were injected with gratitude and passion for being a writer, and he voiced the daily struggle of fear and self doubt that plagues a job that requires you to write, write, write. He offered insights to his approach to the craft, the hurdles and the joys of writing for himself. He didn’t seem to care whether he made a single sale on his book, because at the end of the day that’s not what really matters, right? Creating and discovering, pondering and analysing, critiquing and polishing a humble idea to print and then offering it to readers is the reward. Well it should be. Love, enthusiasm and a positive energy always reflects admirably in your work and it certainly will in your sales.

So, my point is this … Write for yourself. You have to have passion for what you do. If you have passion for how much you’re going to make, then you’ll forever be trying to sell your work. Be professional. If you do book signings and publicity, talk about the craft, your idea and about your approach in trying to capture that idea. Don’t try and sell your idea to your readers. If you have the book in hand, then your idea has already been sold. If you’re passionate about your work and about writing then everything about you becomes interesting, and the writing will speak for itself.

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I think the biggest lesson that I have learned so far about writing is to focus.

It all started last year with my first full-time writing year ahead of me. I was excited. It was a time to write undisturbed and un-nagged by all the usual suspects, i.e. my family. The writing world was mine to explore, to go anywhere and everywhere that I desired … and so, I did.

I wrote short stories and children’s stories and worked on two novels, I blogged and workshopped and edited manuscripts, I kept a journal and emailed friends and before I knew it the year was over.

This year continued in very much the same fashion. But now, three quarters of the way through the year, I have realised that my main goal all along was to complete my novels. And have I done that? No (he lowers his eyes and turns away ashamed).

Don’t get me wrong, working on all sorts of things is fun, interesting and really motivating, but it can be very distracting and perhaps a validated procrastinating excuse to your grander vision. Trust me I know, been there, done that, am wearing the T-shirt.

So, if you want to be a writer and write all manner of things then keep your focus on that. If you want to write novels, children’s books, young adult, or non-fiction, then you have to keep your focus on that and work towards those goals, right?

Every now and again, you have to re-focus on your goals and create a clearer path to get there because it is easy to get lost or drift further away.

Now I am concentrating on one book at a time. I work on it during the day, and I read and revise it at night. All my energy and thoughts are on one book, and it’s working. I feel a sense of accomplishment and a new enthusiasm to work harder knowing that the end is near and that I will have something to show for it soon.

So, I ask you, ‘What is your focus? Where is your focus? And when was the last time you re-focussed?’

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