Monday, September 1, 2014

Can I learn to write? Part 1 of 3
By: Joe P. Attanasio

"The more you know, the more you realize that you know nothing." - Unknown

Some say this quote can be traced back to Plato or Socrates, but Unknown will suffice.

I am going to do a series of blogs about learning to write.

I dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade to join the army. A better education will certainly help, but you can write without one, I did.

When I started writing I realized how true this quote really was. The reason or lesson behind this blog is the proverbial phrase, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

First you have to ask yourself this question. “Do I have something to say?
Before you answer let me ask you a few questions.
“Do you like to tell someone about your dreams sometimes?”
“Do you like to tell jokes or stories to friends and family?”
“Can you chat on the phone for hours sometimes?”
“Can you talk to strangers in a waiting room?”
“Do you like to read?”
“Do you wish you could write?”

I am willing to bet most people can relate to at least one of these questions.
Alright if you agree you have something to say then follow along.

You next concern might be, “Can I write?

English was my worst subject in school; grammar, spelling and composition being the reason. Between reading, crossword puzzles, and an interest in knowing the meaning of new words I came across; my vocabulary was not too bad.

Some people write by hand and type it later or have someone else do the typing. I prefer to type on the computer. Speed and accuracy are of no concern here as you just want to get your ideas down to start. Trust me when I say it can all be fixed later. Just get your thoughts down. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, elegance, style or composition. This can be fixed later.

Writing a novel can be a daunting task for a beginning writer. It is rare for a new writer to have it in them to pluck away at a 50,000 to 120,000 word novel. I suggest short stories 500 to 7,000 words. Anywhere in that range until the story seems done. If you are ambitious a novelette is 7,000 to17,000 words. A novella runs 17,000 to 45,000 words.

The following is a partial list of literary genres:

Action, Adventure, Humor. Crime, Erotic, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Philosophical, Political, Romance, Satire, Science fiction, and Thriller.

My advice is to take a story that you have told before and put it into words. Maybe the day you swam in a river for the first time. Or a funny story about putting a metal pan in the microwave. Perhaps write about that camping trip where you saw the bear. You must have some stories you enjoy telling. Write one up. Just pretend you are writing it in a letter to a friend. You may find writing is not so hard after all and you enjoy doing it.

I will give a few ideas for a short story.

1. Write a story about Halloween. It can be scary, funny, or whatever you like.
2. Write a fiction story about meeting a celebrity. It can be anywhere or anybody.
3. Write a story about an injury to yourself or someone you know.
4. Write a true short story about a relative. Maybe something they told you happened to them.
     5. Write a story about something that happened in your childhood.

Parts 2 and 3 are now posted in this series. 

Check out some of my other blogs while you are here.

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