Writing Fiction By Example

Learn to write fiction by reading and analyzing excerpts from published novels.

Don't Try To Publish, Try To Write

Many people -- I don't call them writers -- try to publish their book, but few try so hard to write them.

Get On the Team, Yet Never Play
That would be like trying to get on the Boston Celtics basketball team without ever playing basketball.

Focus on the activity (writing or basketball). If you don't like to write or play basketball, then getting published or getting on the team is about getting rich, not about writing or basketball. And, though it does happen, it is weird.

Lead, So Someone Will Follow
Here's the deal. Stop focusing on getting published. Instead, focus on getting people to read your book. Writing is like anything else. If you want people to follow you, start leading.

People Followed Jordan, Because He Was Great
Think about Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan played great basketball for himself. People saw him enjoying basketball and playing at an amazing level and they followed him. No one had to convince people to follow him. Why don't you try that with your writing?

Here's how you do that.
How To Get People To Read Your Book
1. Make sure you have a 3 sentence concept so you can tell them about your book in 30 seconds.
2. Beg them to read 5 pages.
3. Tell them this exact statement:

"I've written my first crappy attempt at my first crappy novel. Somewhere in my heart I feel like it is good, but it's crappy. Even though it is crappy, I'm begging you to read five pages and rip it apart. I will print it for you and give you a red pen and then I'm begging you to read it and destroy it with the pen. If there happens to be anything that you like, then let me know. If, by some odd chance you like it and you want to read more I will have more but if it is as crappy as expected then I won't bother you with this chapter or book again. Oh, also I promise not to get upset at all. Is it a deal?"

100 People?
After you get 100 people to read five pages (does not have to be the same five pages) and you've edited them according to your best ability, then go and try to get published, but no sooner.

If you can't get 100 people to do that, why would you ever think you could convince more people than that to actually read your book? If you can't get 100 people to read your book, then no publisher would ever publish it, because they can't afford it.

Keep on learning, keep on writing. (Keep on questioning.)

~Roger Deutsch

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