The climber treks up mountains formed by planetary forces, while a writer builds his own mountain using stones of language. At times, the exertion feels the same.
The character Hawkeye Pierce of M*A*S*H said his favorite book is the dictionary because it has all the other books in it. Your book is there, too. You've just got to pick the words that appeal to you and place them in an order of your choosing. 80,000 times.
It all starts with an idea, something you yearn to express, whether it's a personal experience, a political, religious, or philosophical perspective, a clever story, or a commentary on our life and times. Many manuscripts are the book the author would have liked to read but couldn't find.
Prompts are a few words to entire scenarios meant to stimulate the imagination. They provide practice, or may be fodder for a complete novel, and are a useful resource for beginners.
There are many books and on-line sources, but here's one I like for no other reason than it's sheer volume:
5,000 WRITING PROMPTS by Bryn Donovan
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Perhaps the best place to find inspiration and material with which to work is in other books. Fiction and non-fiction. Enjoying a novel in something other than your primary go-to genre, could get you thinking in new ways.
It's been said many times: There are no new stories. Every tale is derivative of something, with a twist. There are a dozen movies and numerous novels that are Cinderella. Cinderella itself is a retelling of a 17th century French tale, Cendrillon.
You make it your own by introducing a tangent... or right angle turn. What would have happened to Cinderella if the prince had never found her with the glass slipper? Who might she have become?
© 2021, Robin D. Ader. All rights reserved.
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