Like many writers, I plan on finishing a novel. I have been working on one for a while. I have had some articles and short stories published, but I have yet to have a published novel. Many of my friends and acquaintances ask if I have written, or in the process of writing a book. When I tell them I am working on a novel, the next question is “What is it about?”
Years ago attended a writing workshop in my town and sat in a room filled with aspiring authors. When it was time for us to ask questions, one of the attendees raised her hand an asked for tips on getting an agent. Then she went on to tell what her book was about. After about 5 solid minutes of awkward starts, backtracks, and confused faces, she ended with “I have a title. It’s called Saturday Night at the Disco.” Even as I cringed along with everyone else as she bumbled through her attempt to describe her book, I wondered if I could do a better job.
Part of my current job is helping students succeed academically. I help them with time management, study skills, critical thinking, etc. I am often looking for various ways and techniques on how to improve study skills. One method is the Feynman Technique. If you are not familiar with the Feynman Technique, it is essentially explaining something in language simple enough for a young child to understand and, by doing so, you too are gaining a better understanding of the subject. After explaining this technique with several students I realized that this technique is a great way to fill plot holes and confusion in you own work.
If you want to be a published author and plan to go the traditional route of finding an agent, you will have to write a query letter. You will have to be able to sell your book in a few sentences. One way to do this is with the Feynman Technique.
iBourgie’s Guide to Writing your Query Letter Using the Feynman Technique
- Write down your tentative title.
- Write down the plot as if explaining it to an 8-year-old child
- Review what you have written (or if you have an 8-year-old handy, ask them to read it to see if they can follow it. If they cant..
- Look for the confusing parts and clear them up. This may be a great time to also look through your work to see if that confusion exists in it as well.
- Finally, make any adjustments using plain language
I really is that simple. If it is too hard for you to apply this technique, you have a little more work to do. Enjoy the journey!
How can you effectively edit your own writing? Here are seven tips to help you objectively improve your book.
Source: 7 Ways to Expertly Edit Your Own Writing – Helping Writers Become Authors
Today’s Writing Prompt: On this day…
Today is a very special day for me. Over 40 years ago, my best friend was born. She is an amazing, beautiful, and successful woman and I am so glad that she is a part of my life.
For today’s writing prompt, pick a day that is special for you and find out what other things happened on that day in history. Use this to inspire your writing. I have listed a few links below to help get you started.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Convince someone to join your team.
I have very few friends who love to read and I am constantly trying to convince them of the importance of being a voracious reader. I find it hard to understand why some of my just do not love to read. My friends also try to convince me the do some of the things they enjoy. I have one friend who loves camping, not in a camper, but outside on the ground in a tent. I love nature and being outdoors, but there is something about going to sleep in the woods with only a thin piece of fabric separating me from any other thing that is out in the woods does not appeal to me. She is constantly telling me that it is so wonderful, but I am not convinced.
For this writing prompt, write a convincing argument on why someone should try something you enjoy.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Write your own history.
I have always wondered about my ancestors. I have been able to go back as far as about five or six generations, but that’s it. I have often been told stories about how I am a decedent of this person or that person, but I never knew if it was true. Maybe my history isn’t as exciting as it has been told to me. The writer in my says it can be as exciting as I make it. Create your own history as you imagine it to be. You can start with your last name. Create an origin and start from there, or it could be a family trait that many of you family members share. Be very creative.
“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.”
Source: Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings
Today’s Writing Prompt: What if…?
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you got the man/woman of your dreams, won the lottery, been born with a special talent? For today’s writing prompt write about what that would be like. If you would like a little more of a challenge, write about how having the thing you’ve always wanted made your life worse.