ON WRITING

                                                  by

                                        Robert W Raymond

Millions of books have been written; stories have been told and retold.  So why are people still writing?  Some seek fame and fortune.  I write because, I am driven by my muse and I love to write.  Why else would I get up at three o’clock every morning, seven days a week, to write, edit, and use my PC to research?  I certainly would not work this hard for fame, or money, both of which are fragile, fleeting things.

I assume, you are either a reader, who enjoys reading about authors, or you are now writing, or you are thinking about it, and hope to gain something useful.

If you want to learn to write, there are teachers out there, in college, in correspondence courses, on the internet, and in hundreds of books.

When I finished my service in the army.  I completed a correspondence course, with Famous Writers School, thanks to my generous Uncle Sam.  I enjoyed the course.  I have read many how to, books on writing.  Were these helpful?  Maybe, but I believe, you learn the craft by reading good books, and by working your tail off writing.

It’s a whole lot easier these days.  When I began, I wrote on a secondhand IBM typewriter, laboriously pounding away.  Finally, when I finished a page, and I read it, I found many typos’s and misspelled words, and left out commas.  To fix these mistakes, out came the bottle of ‘White Out’.  I painted away the errors, fed the typing paper back into the machine, being careful to line everything up, I retyped over the white painted out mistakes.  When I removed the page, it looked awful, and so, I had to retype it again.  Thank God, we have progressed to the computer and word-processor.  You young writers, don’t know how blessed you are to be writing now.

When I’ve thought of something, I’d like to learn and write about, I do some research.  I do not make an outline.  I don’t know where the characters shall lead me, but I let them go.  I write just as fast as I can.  I don’t want the analytical part of my brain slowing me down to dissect every other word.  There will be plenty of work for him, when I edit and rewrite my manuscript several times.

A few words about writers block.  I don’t know what that is.  Here is a trick I stumbled upon.  When I am not sure about a character, a plot, or some other thing, I let it go.  I go to bed and I sleep peacefully.  Here’s the thing.  Your subconscious mind never sleeps, and while I do, he's working his butt off solving the problem.  When I wake in the morning, his work is done, and my problem of the day before is solved.  Try it.  Have faith.  It works.

Read some of the old masters work. They have much to teach you.  What did they do that made their stories so good?  That is why you must read them, and copy their tricks of trade.  If one day, a reviewer says that you write like Balzac, Faulkner, or Tom Wolfe, pat yourself on the back.

Write stories about what interests you and what you’d like to know about.

My book CASEY’S WORLD came about, from my historical research, for another book I wrote, on the life of the great Indian fighter and President,  Andrew Jackson, which now sits in my, ‘someday rewrite’ file draw.

Casey’s World spent a few years in that same file.  As did, the FOREST OF GOOD AND EVIL, and the O’BRIEN SAGA.  These last two books shall be offered up this year.

God bless, and keep writing.




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