Some tips for writing good books

This article is published in partnership with Quora, a platform on which Internet users can ask questions and where others, specialists in the subject, answer them.

The question of the day: “How to become a good writer and how to write stories that make you want to?”

Didier Ernotte’sresponse:

For such a broad and complex question, one can only sketch a beginning of an answer. So let’s start with the basics: the first step is to understand that you are not an author simply because you have written a book. It is because you have written a very good book that you are an author. Few understand this simple truth.

Man reading book on the table  writing good book stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Becoming a writer or author is both a struggle and a journey; in a word, an odyssey. It will necessarily be long and difficult. It will be a fight against yourself, weakness, indulgence, laziness, fear, failure. It will be a journey, you will discover the limitless power of your imagination, you will discover what obsesses you, you will travel through all the nuances of humanity. It is a very beautiful journey, but it is often painful. To write is to translate the magnificent emotions, the fabulous stories perfectly conceived in your brain, in a version necessarily imperfect on paper. It takes humility and hard work. Nothing comes by itself, talent is acquired, you don’t write a good book by chance.

mountain The way of climax. Mountain slope have a way for walk. Background is sunset. odyssey stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Read, write

So, crash-test of the author writer:

First, ask yourself with the utmost sincerity why you want to write. If it corresponds to a deep, intense need to express yourself, if you have ideas, universes to share, go for it. If, on the other hand, it is to impress dad, mom, your ancestors, your friends, and tell everyone that you are an author, you fart it, become famous, rich or both, forget. Avoid autobiography: talking about yourself and staying interesting is a challenge that is often out of reach for a beginner.

solo traveler asian chinese man travelling rear view facing Jungfrau snow mountain, Switzerland in autumn asian chinese man travelling rear view facing Jungfrau snow mountain, Switzerland in autumn odyssey stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

If despite the previous advice, you have an irresistible desire to annoy the world with your life, go see a shrink instead. Give yourself brain time, you have to find a way to free yourself from your worries, your obligations to let your imagination work. Writing is not only putting words on paper, it is also and above all imagining, dreaming, and letting all this rest. This takes time and energy. Do not think that by saying to yourself “go hop, every day from 8 pm to 10 pm, I write”, you will finish your great work, because it does not work like that: there are dead times, empty passages, which are part of the process of creation. Do not throw a ball in the head to blacken paper. Buy La Dramaturgie by Yves Lavandier and make it your bedside book. This advice is shared by the Prix Goncourt 2018. Read, train and write every week for a year a short story, a short story to train you on a specific point of dramaturgy.

Concept: book is source of knowledge.Tiny girl stand on wide road in front keyhole entrance in book to narrower road.Volume as symbol of admission to more prestigious sphere of life.Hand drawn vector Concept: book is source of knowledge.Tiny girl stand on wide road in front keyhole entrance in book to narrower road.Volume as symbol of admission to more prestigious sphere of life.Hand drawn raster writing good book stock illustrations

Do not listen to the so-called writers who are in the thousands on Facebook and who give a thousand tips thinking they are legitimate because they have published a book in an unknown publishing house. I get books like this every week because they want to have them adapted to the cinema. When I read one from time to time, it is dung that I abandon on page 30. Do not listen to your friends and family, do not make them read anything: without realizing it, they will be toxic. Do not take any online training given by big names, these are scams. Refuse sellers of dreams like “For 200 euros, learn how to write the next bestseller in ten steps”. Seek the advice of seasoned professionals who have a real artistic CV. Resist the temptation to participate in the first writing workshop organized by amateurs. Accept only if it is a professional and if you have all the guarantees to be respected as an author. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.

John in the Island of Patmos Engraving of "John in the Island of Patmos" in the Revelation of St. John published in "The Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation" Published by Charles Foster in 1883. The engraving is now in the public domain. writing good book stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Read a lot, again and again! Go back to your classics, look for the authors who inspire you, what is your literary lineage. When you are aware of your influences, take some distance and practice mastering your own style. It’s important! Don’t deny your literary legacy, be inspired by it, but don’t copy it. When you read or watch movies or series, learn to identify the narrative mechanisms, ask yourself if the characters work, and if not, why. Be yourself, be demanding, refuse indulgence (read Scott Peck’s excellent book The Least Traveled Path). The pros, on the other hand, will not give you gifts. Don’t listen to all those who will tell you to be yourself, even if they have the best of intentions. By definition, an author is constantly being built. By remaining what you are, you will get stuck in your own story and therefore will not be able to write another one. Don’t listen to personal development bullshit like “be yourself, if you want you can”, it’s bullshit. Advisors are not payers. If you take a coach, take a pro who specializes in coaching creatives.

When, after a year, you feel ready, you have written several good news, then plan your first book and get started. This will already be a good start.

One last piece of advice: more than talent, more than work, this job (because it is one) requires resilience. Never give up, never.

Novices in an orthodox monastery is reading a holy book "Lalibela, Ethiopia - November 8, 2011: A novice of an orthodox monastery is sitting in the compound of the rock hewn churches of Lalibela in Northern Ethiopia and is reading a book written in the old language of the church, called Geez." writing good book stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
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