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Unpublished Author

"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." - W. Somerset Maugham

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FNAQs (Frequently Not-Asked Questions):

Q: How can I learn to write a book?
A: I've decided in this process that the best way to learn how to write a book is to write a book. If you are a fairly plot-oriented writer, you should also take a screenwriting course. The rules of screenwriting are amazingly precise, very rigid and extremely helpful if you want to have things like definitive beginnings and endings, dramatic climaxes and continually increasing the odds for your characters. If you want to read more on the subject, arguably the three definitive works on the subject are Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee, Screenplay by Syd Field and Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder. If you're more of a character development or stream-of-consciousness writer, skip it.

Q: How much do you write each day?
A: I write 500 words per writing session and schedule four writing sessions per week, for a total of 2,000 words a week. I used to use the website as an ersatz blog, but unfortunately for all those dying for a peek into my process, is no more. One of these days I may get around to setting up my own blog, just as soon as I've finished all the rest of my projects (Wah-ha-ha! *snort*).

Q: Just 2,000 words a week? What kind of a wuss-ass writer are you?
A: I tend to run out of things to say by about three or 400 words, but I push myself to 500, because it's a number that's nicely divides into 80,000. If I limit myself to something doable, I can do it on a regular basis. If I tried to push too hard, I could never trick myself into writing on schedule. It's all about the tricking.

Q: Don't you have a real job?
A: Of course I have a real job. What do you think unpublished authors get paid, exactly? My full-time job is in the Traffic Department for a television network. It doesn't actually involve cars. And now let's not talk about it anymore, because it's extremely boring.

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