Even outside of this blog, I am a writer. You know that.
I have a specialty, though. Did you know that?
I write non-fiction. I believe I am good at it. I can write the heck out of an informational magazine article or a business letter*.
Even the book I wrote, though it reads a little like fiction, is a true story.
The idea of writing works of fiction terrifies me.
That’s why I said, “Sure!” when Tara asked me, a few months ago, to be one of the contributors to a tag-team blog on which we collectively write a novelette. (Uh yeah, that’s fiction.)
Actually, I said, “Sure!” because I love Tara. I agreed to do it without giving it a thought. I didn’t start thinking about it until I got an e-mail from Tara, telling me that my turn to write a chapter was almost upon us. That’s when I started to panic.
Everyone told me to “just have fun with it!”
Alas, that’s not my style. Though I love writing and I do usually have fun doing it, I don’t normally just “let loose” and write, with the exception of writing these blog posts**. My style of preparation is more, shall we say, analytical. The book I hope to get published soon (SOON! Do you hear that, powers-that-be???) is a work of, naturally, non-fiction. I researched my brains out in order to write it. I’m always googling, searching for more information, assembling bits and pieces into larger chunks. That’s why, when I had to start writing my chapter for this novelette, I didn’t just start writing.
First I went and re-read all of the chapters, from one through eleven.
Then–sorry, trees!–I copied all of the text in every chapter, pasted it all (in order) into a Word document, made the type as small as possible so I wouldn’t use up quite as much paper, and printed it all out***. I used a bright pink highlighter to mark up pieces of information I wanted to make sure to use in some way when I wrote my chapter.
Finally, I wrote.
And yes, I had fun with it.
Please go check out what I wrote, here.
Also, please consider reading from the very beginning, and of course to the end as the new chapters are posted (every Tuesday!). This is good stuff, and some of my favorite blogger friends are contributors. I’m told that this novelette should be done before the end of the year…then we start a new one!
I might even try to write my next chapter without so much prep work****.
*Tooting my own horn: a business letter-writing series I wrote for Nailpro magazine was nominated for a “Maggie” award, two years ago. It was, as they say, an honor to be nominated!
**Which are, as you know, non-fiction in nature.
***I will recycle this paper by using the back for phone doodles and other such notes.
****Haha, I crack myself up.
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