The Nerds are happy to welcome debut author Wayne Avrashow to the blog today to talk about the writing process for his book, “Roll the Dice.”
It was not a simple task to write my first novel, locate an agent, and then have the agent sell the book to a publisher. I’m proud that my first novel Roll the Dice will be published. The novel’s main protagonist is a rock ‘n roll star who exits the stage to campaign for the United States Senate.
Although there were delays, false starts and bumps; having Roll the Dice published provides immense satisfaction. I salute anyone embarking on that endeavor. I enjoyed the process, I never had “writer’s block,” never stared at a blank computer screen with a blank mind.
As an attorney, I am comfortable writing documents, but had no clue on how to start writing fiction. My process began by taking writing courses at UCLA Extension’s program. My writing teacher at UCLA talked about all writers having a, “creative dream.” Here are a few ideas for you to pursue your creative dream:
Write What you Know. It is a cliché, but an accurate one. My novel is centered around the political world. I volunteered in my first political campaign when I was 18, served as political campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and was Deputy/Chief of Staff at City Hall for those two Councilmen.
Write Your Passion. Beyond writing what you know, your book should reflect your passion. A couple of years ago I saw Paul McCartney perform at Dodger Stadium. In his early seventies, Sir Paul performed for a blistering two hours. How? This is his passion!
The Blank Palate. The beauty of fiction writing is you have the unlimited freedom to create your own world. Each character is your own. If you’re a lawyer, you can write legal thrillers, or, if you are skilled enough create a fictional world of your choosing. There is no world similar to Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, but someone opened their mind to develop that world.
Study Your Craft. Take advantage of the wealth of information available on writing. Go on-line, attend writing classes, read books on writing, watch Michael Levin’s YouTube videos, or others, designed for writers.
Be Selective on Feedback. Feedback from others is critical. However only seek feedback from supportive and knowledgeable sources. I would prefer no feedback than negative, non-constructive responses. The best persons are those who share a creative dream. A writers’ group is a great source.
Keep Writing. The prolific author John Grisham advises aspiring writers to write at least a page a day. A simple rule—keep writing.
Be Aware. Every character needs depth. Your workplace, family, neighborhood and in various social interactions are populated with people with mannerisms, quirks, and habits that are adaptable for your use. Do not mimic, but exaggerate, combine, and mangle those interesting qualities to create your characters.
The Pursuit of the Perfect Kills a Lot of Good. Drafts are Drafts. You should re-write each chapter, but pursing a perfect chapter one will never allow you to commence chapter two. Write, rewrite it and re-write it again. Then move on! I rewrote Roll the Dice many times, but I kept going.