Secrets Of Bestseller-kind-of-writing by NiceTime

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									Title:
Secrets Of Bestseller-kind-of-writin
g

Word Count:
1165

Summary:
I often say that my greatest wealth
 is my library of writing books. On
e day, I realized that only three o
f them ever mentioned the most impo
rtant secret of good writing. A car
eful search turned up repeated disc
ussions on the following: plot, dia
logue, characterization, descriptio
n, viewpoint, pace and tone, and vo
ice.

Other topics turned up more discuss
ions: how to write mysteries, how t
o write romance, how to write drama
, how to format manuscripts, create
 believable chara...


Keywords:



Article Body:
I often say that my greatest wealth
 is my library of writing books. On
e day, I realized that only three o
f them ever mentioned the most impo
rtant secret of good writing. A car
eful search turned up repeated disc
ussions on the following: plot, dia
logue, characterization, descriptio
n, viewpoint, pace and tone, and vo
ice.

Other topics turned up more discuss
ions: how to write mysteries, how t
o write romance, how to write drama
, how to format manuscripts, create
 believable characters, how to get
paid, how to write the memoir, how
to write the breakout novel, crafti
ng scenes, editing fiction, and on
and on. In all of that, I found onl
y one paragraph on the greatest sec
ret in writing a novel. It was only
 a half page, and in another book,
honorable mention.

After years of studying good writin
g, I wondered how that could be whe
n without it, stories are just pape
r dolls being pushed through a beni
gn plot that never quite delivers.
What happened that caused your char
acter to want something so badly th
at his or her action could have bee
n only what was played out? That se
cret is called—MOTIVATION.

I'll use the books I consider well
written, fascinating, and standing
the test of time: Gone With the Win
d by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett O'
Hara, her main character wanted a m
an who didn't want to marry her, As
hley Wilkes. And she was going to g
et him at all cost. He was her moti
vation to do every unthinkable thin
g she did. She married Ashley's bro
ther-in-law to be near him. She wen
t from Atlanta to Savannah to stay
with Aunt Pitty to stay with Ashley
's wife, so she could keep tabs on
him when he would come home on furl
ough from the Civil War. She fought
 for Tara, her family's plantation,
 for the sake of Ashley. She snatch
ed her sister's beau and married hi
m to save Tara from a tax sale, kno
wing that Ashley was coming back fr
om the war and would need a gentlem
an’s plantation. He could still be
the southern gentleman if she owned
 Tara. She was over the top in love
 with a man who was never going to
marry her.

Along with what drives a person to
do what he or she does, we have to
understand the back story that caus
ed them to be like they are: Scarle
tt was a spoiled brat, a daddy’s gi
rl, rich, charming and lovely, the
daughter of an Irish father who dot
ed on her and gave her everything s
he wanted. She was also used to get
ting the men she wanted. She wanted
 Ashley, but he wanted his cousin,
a simple girl, genteel and quiet. S
carlett, though, was the one who al
l the boys wanted to sit with at th
e barbecues. Why not Ashley? Having
 ASHLEY was her motivation. Always
Ashley!

Ashley married his cousin, Melanie,
 but that didn't stop Scarlett. She
 was determined to marry him, and w
e followed her through 700 pages to
 find out if she gets him. That was
 the heart and spine of that story.
 The ravages of war were just backd
rops, staging.

From Scarlett’s background, all she
 did was naturally motivated. And k
nowing her motivation caused the te
nsion. What motivates your main cha
racter? Let’s look at a few example
s of motivation to release it into
your writing habit.

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker:
Celie wanted to have her children a
nd her sister near her. It was all
she had. All that she suffered with
 her father raping and impregnating
 her twice, caused her to feel ugly
 and black just like her father sai
d. Out of that background, she was
motivated to accept her husband’s c
ontinued physical and emotional abu
se. Even her stepchildren abused her.

When we look at that back-story, we
 know she could have no sense of se
lf-worth. The man she married allow
ed his girlfriend to come and live
in their house and Celie cooked and
 cared for her. Celie never gave up
 looking for her sister and childre
n, though. They were what mattered
to hr. Finally, her husband’s girlf
riend, Shug Avery, gave her a sense
 of self-esteem and courage. Then s
he created a clothes designing care
er. Her motivation was to stay aliv
e so she could see her sister and c
hildren.

In my novel, The Mayor's Wife Wore
Sapphires, Indigo Tate wants Black
people to have a better image all o
ver the world. She schemes her husb
and into running for congress to ge
t her out of Compton and into Washi
ngton, D.C. society, where he could
 influence the funding of their tra
ining program in Compton. When that
 falls through, she schemes to get
the press to make Compton a Black C
amelot. Since she can’t get out, he
r city just has to become something
 special. She suffers every ridicul
e and tragedy because of that desir
e. Ultimately, she becomes the mayo
r and that motivation to succeed st
ill burns hot within her.

When we look at Indigo’s background
, we learn that she lived in a fine
 house until she was ten when her f
ather gambled away the family home.
 One day the white sheriff came and
 threw the family out, and she had
to move into a small, dark house wi
th a leaking tin roof. She began to
 dream of respect. She promised her
self that she'd never give up on be
coming somebody--somebody significa
nt. Somebody who could never be thr
own out of her home. Nothing could
stop her from wanting Compton to be
 Camelot, wanting her home to be on
e of the finest in America. She bro
ught the opera, the symphony and th
e arts to town—all motivated by her
 need to heal the pain of being thr
own out of her lovely home as a child.

What is your character’s motivation
? Most beginning writers have no id
ea what their characters want. They
 just write a lot of events and the
 story comes to a big climax out of
 thin air. The ending has nothing t
o do with the character’s desire. T
he story can never add up to more t
han the sum of its parts. It never
quite becomes an organic whole, whe
re all the chapters have been melde
d together like wet cement edges.

I guarantee you this: If you will s
it down and write what your charact
er wants more than anything in the
world, based on why they want it, y
our story will lead to a natural co
nclusion. It will last in the reade
r’s mind for a long, long time. Peo
ple will tie into the story’s natur
alness and stay with you to the end
 because they accept it as real. Is
n't that what all of us writers want?

END###

You have my permission to use this
article FREE if you do not change a
ny part of it--my name or website a
ddress. If you use it, you are obli
gated to notify me at writelink3@ya
hoo.com. It bears copyright under t
he following website: http://www.ur
banclassicbooks.com

Thank you.
Martha “Marti” Tucker
http://www.urbanclassicbooks.com/

								
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