Advice on writing a novel
ASK NANAY By Socorro C. Ramos (The Philippine Star) Updated August 14, 2011
I want to write a novel and I think I have a compelling story to tell. It is a tale of love between a man and a woman who lose each other and their only way to find each other again is in some unlikely circumstances. It is funny, romantic and a real tearjerker by the end.
My problem is I do not know how to begin doing this task. I am not even talking about how to get the book published but it seems like the whole project is just so big and so frightening that I cannot even start writing. The whole story is just in my head right now and everyone I tell it to says it is a perfect movie and book.
Someone told me I should hire a ghostwriter. Is that a good idea? Or should I just try to write it myself?
Dear Wannabe Writer,
If you truly believe you have a compelling story, my advice to you would be to just start writing. Start writing your story and put it down on paper… or the computer as the case may be with you. It may seem intimidating or daunting at first, but if you just start writing you might be surprised at how easily you can write 50 or 100 pages.
Please remember that I am not a writer. But I imagine that all authors would have different ways of approaching the writing of a book. Some would probably do a detailed outline while others would just start writing off the top of their heads and see where that leads. Kanya-kanya iyan. (Each has his own style.)
It sounds like you should just start writing your story and see where it takes you. At this point, the manuscript does not have to be perfect and the grammar does not have to be completely error-free. The ideas and story do not even have to flow smoothly because it is just a first draft. Marami pang revisions iyan na pagdadaanan bago ma-publish (Your book will undergo many revisions before it is published). The important part is you just start getting your story into a form that others can look at and evaluate so that you can move forward.
Should you hire a ghostwriter? It seems too early at this point for you to already be looking for someone else to write the book for you. Unless you know from the beginning that you are only a “storyteller” and not a “writer,” then perhaps you should already talk to people who can write for you. But if you feel that you can do it, then I think you should give it a shot. Do it yourself! Who knows? You might just surprise yourself with how much creative talent you actually possess.
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