February 21, 2010

where to begin

A story starts with an idea.

The writer may use his or her life experience to shape a story. The late Ken Kesey used his experience working at a veterans hospital — and experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs — as the inspiration for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

It can start from a dream. Stephenie Meyer says the idea for the Twilight saga came to her after having a dream about a vampire who was in love with a human.

Anyone can have an idea for a book. The difference between published writers and everyone else is that they did something with that idea. Through creativity, discipline and hard work, these initial ideas turned into fully developed stories.

I have never had a problem coming up with ideas. I have a long list of book ideas, some originating when I was quite young. The ideas for them came in many forms, but right now, they are still just ideas.

A little background about me: I have worked as a journalist since I was a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I started my career at the independent student newspaper the Daily Nebraskan. I worked as a reporter, editor and designer during my more than two years at the DN. During college, I also interned at the Lincoln Journal Star and was also published in the Kearney Hub and Seward County Independent, in addition to various UNL publications. After graduation, I interned at The Southern Illinoisan for a summer. Since August 2008, I have been a corporate journalist. I conduct interviews, write stories and take photographs for industrial employee publications.

As a professional writer (although the writing is one small part of my job) I find I use that as my biggest excuse for why I do not follow through on completing my books. It is my crutch and I need to get rid of it.

Since March 2006, I have started writing three novels. Although I have not given up hope on completing any of these books, I lack the discipline it takes to see the process through. Through this blog, I hope to encourage myself to complete one novel and see where it goes from there. I will use research gained from published novelists, consider their advice and see what I can do to make it my own.

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