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Writing a story is easy, right?

I must admit, the writing thing so far easier than the talking thing.  I can sit behind my laptop keyboard and type away, but when I have to get in front of a group of people to tell yo what I wrote about, ugh.  It is all part of that Indie Writer experience.  You must promote yourself; you must put yourself out there.  You have to get in front of your readers as much as you can for them to want to read your writing.  I recently created a workshop about how to plot out a murder mystery book.  The whole time I felt a little odd about it truth be told.  If I was some award winning writer, someone who was on the New York Times best seller list, then fine, yes,  get to tell people how to write a book.  Who was I to tell a bunch of strangers how to write?  It was a good exchange though.  They asked some questions and I had answers, which was nice.  It did seem to help some who attended with their own attempts at writing.  And while I opened with the line that writing is far easier, it kind of isn’t at the same time.

One thing that we talked about in this workshop was that yeah, sure, you can sit down at your computer and type out a story.  However, if you want to get that story where others really want to read it, you have to do a lot more before you start typing away.  There is the research you must do, and let me tell you – you MUST do your research.  I really do not wish to offend my past or potential readers out there, but there are readers out there that are just waiting to get the opportunity to let you know you goofed up somewhere in your book!  My experience is it is mostly the older ladies.  They will have no problem letting me know what they think about how I worded something, and god forbid I have a typo that the editor missed!  The writing before the writing is a major step every writer must do.

Now I find that some have come up with rules and what you “must” do, but the thing is you have to do what you are comfortable with in order to get the idea out there.  What I mean is there are millions of ways to prep for a book.  Each writer is different, so the methods can change as well.  If I don’t do exactly what Stephen King does, well then I may as well give up now is not how to approach your research.  A quick Google search will enlighten you on what methods and background information a writer will need to get a solid foundation to their story.  You do need to have a profile for your main characters, their whole background mapped out in order to really have that character come alive in your story.  One thing I told the group was that if you don’t have a good character, you don’t have a story.  If you don’t care enough to develop them, then the reader will not care to read about them.

Writers have to do a lot of homework in order to get a book out these days, and that is just the prep!  It’s the adage – please don’t look at my browser history, I’m a writer.  Nowadays it is easier to do all the prep from home.  The internet is a wondrous, and potentially scary place, but a godsend to the writer sitting at home thundering away at the keyboard.  So do your homework writers before you write!

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