Do you ever look at Quora? If not, then let me tell you about it. It is a free, user-driven Q&A site on the internet. Users can pose a question and readers reply with their thoughts and observations on the World. Sometimes there are sensible questions, often they are very silly.
Is England a totalitarian State? was an example that hit my email this morning. As you can see, often, it says far more about the questioner, but I am surprised how many gain serious answers.
I was amused by answers to the question, are British people in any danger if they visit the Republic of Ireland? There was a consensus of answers that danger is only around the corner in Dublin where locals are totally fed up with stag night revellers.
Always under discussion as a core topic is writing. There are many questions on how to start or write the first book with something like I want to write a book this year, what should I do first?
The advice is worthy and always covers the range from, just start writing and blag it through to recommendations to plan everything in detail.
But all make it clear that whether you call it a theme, purpose or main character’s motivation first you must have an idea.
There are two things that I have to do every day. One is writing this essay and the second is write a letter to Sasha and so twice every day I face this problem of coming up with an idea. Where do I start?
I know that there are three different learning techniques
- Listening learners heard their mother, believed the information, and never touched a stove.
- Seeing learners watched their brother touch the stove, and never touched it.
- Experience learners touched the stove; but only once!
President Reagan with his film and TV background was an extreme seeing learner and it was reported that all his briefings were put onto a DVD, so he could watch them on the television. Probably an exaggeration just as much as President Trump is getting all his briefings through the Muppet Show.
Most of us use a mixture of all three but have a preference towards one or the others.
I can remember conversations far better than I remember the written word. I can recall what someone has said to me many years ago, and I do it by remembering the situation and the event. I can recall the room, the people around us, my mood and then the words come back to me.
This is how I write. I imagine the scene. I can see the everything as if it was a film set and I am watching a movie and can hear all the conversation. My task is only to try and describe the scene. Sometimes I do this well but never as well as I want. Films start with a book or a script and then become action. My world is the other way around. I start with the film and have to turn it into words.
When I write to Sasha I imagine her sitting in a café, sipping a mid-morning coffee, and reading my letter. I can see what she is wearing, how she is sitting and even the way she lifts the cup to drink. I have this perfect picture in my mind. I write to make her mood better so that when she goes back to work she feels happy and empowered.
But back to Quora and how to write a book. I never post an answer. Although I am a writer I can’t class myself as a successful writer as I don’t sell millions of books. I know that advice is only as valuable the price you have paid for it.
If I were to answer I would say that you need to close your eyes and dream. You need to see the scene before you can describe it. You need to watch the movie of your characters and describe it.
It has always been like this for me. You may say I’m a dreamer. When you call me a daydreamer that is the truth but, I’m not the only one