DNA of a writer by Kurt Frenier Presentation on behalf of the Emirates Literary Group, Dubai, February 2010
Why do I write? How do I write? How did I get published? … in a random, rather confusing order. Be gentle. a bit of my brains … and a bit of my tools
Once Upon A Time Belgium 1969 Aries Family Expression & Creativity
My All-Time Inspiration
Maybe I Never Grew Up Children’s stories Young Adults stories/novels Attempts to write an adult novel Poetry, short stories, and more… Two book published in 2009 in The Netherlands, Europe Translated The Enchanted Tree House Translated The Youngest Spy In The World
Myths <ul><li>I am not sure I have what it takes. </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have time to write. </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have anything to write about. </li></ul><ul><li>The editor will reject my work because I am not famous. </li></ul><ul><li>My vocabulary and writing skills are too limited. </li></ul><ul><li>In my field there are few opportunities to publish. </li></ul>
Write it ALL down Scrapbook Every idea counts One day… Write the book cover text handwritten outline for Talese’s Esquire story.
Example The Enchanted Tree House A walk in the park Picture of a tree house A back cover > the big idea The first and last page
The Movie In My Head “ The pen is the tongue of the mind.” -Miguel de Cervantes
Much Easier To Describe… … an apple when you are looking at one! or a small thing like a spider
Thinking Is NOT Writing separate your thinking and writing “mode” a relaxing place + “me”-time
The $1mm questions according to my publisher 1 st person or 3 rd person Present or past tense
Illustrations What do you like? Keep your eyes open Talk to artists you like! Philine van der Vegte my “reference bank” Edie Pijpers
Word Count Counts YA 55,000 - 69,999 is a great range Novel 80,000 - 89,999: cool 90,000 - 99,999: safe Below 70,000: too short 110,000 or above: too long
Get Started Starting is the hard piece Outline > Mind mapping? Go sit in that 30.000 foot airplane!
Mind Mapping Al Activist Twitter Revolution Tourism Action Ecosystem Innovation Networks Alf Joh Juan Maribel Ber Pau Rafa Gersón Jordi Juan Carlos … Followers Communication Open-source Entrepreneurship Consulting raining Distribution … . Projects Campaigns Workshops Sectorial Model Mentality System … . Supply Demand Promotion Distribution Collaboration Integration Flow Network Philosophy Objective Transgression Transformation Workers Workers Liquid Funnel Tourism revolution
Characters It’s not a science Visualize > I search a picture for my main characters Consistent behavior is critical Character evolution Twist & Turn
Small Steps 5 pages/ day is a good result for me Non sequential writing You need a ritual (daily, weekly,…) Keep going … don’t interrupt your writing
Allow yourself to derail The only thing anybody else sees is the end result How you get there is YOUR business
Burden of a writer The Word Magician by Kurt Frenier He was hammering on his machine again, in absolute silence, with his fingers bent like little hooks, eyes half staring in thin air, half on the screen. Pearls of sweat were dripping down his face, as if he was in a rage. He'd been in full concentration for the longest of times; to get the hard job done. The electricity between his brain and hands was working overtime. As usual. Sharp as laser blades, the eruption of words manifested itself. Like a passionate and professional maniac he deliberately flushed the energy out of his body; carving out something out of nothing. It HAD to be done. The fight in his mind was ruthless. Gangs of words fighting with other gangs of words, competing for the number one spot: to be transferred out of the mind, into the world of fame and eternity: "word-Valhalla", where words got embraced by their family (sentences), and were there to stay; forever. The thin virgin layer of whitened wood was slowly filling up with words, neatly ordered to make some sort of sense. A story appeared. Word-Valhalla was forming. After a good 30.000 words, and pages and pages of engraved ideas, the book appeared. Victory! The word magician had done it again.
Unclogging Start somewhere else Read another book… watch a movie… have a cigar…
Editing Kill your darlings 10x reread and rewrite is “ok” Why. do. I. have. to write. this. now.? (re-read this 7 times!) “ Good writing is rewriting.” -Truman Capote
Pathway To Getting Published Millions of authors Billions of ideas Hundreds of publishers MY BOOK?
The Tipping Point For Me My daughter Julia, born NOV 2006
Ingoing Position It’s an uphill battle!
Leverage Social Networks Publishers ask for your social knowledge! Be active … every day Meaningful posts! Build content Source : The Economist, January 2010
You can’t escape it! This is where the conversation happens! Leverage Social Networks - cont’d word of mouth
Leverage Social Networks - cont’d Learn from the master Obama was totally UNKNOWN !
Grants, Contests, And the likes Many “free” publishing opportunities Any extra argument for publishers Give it a try !
Embrace Rejection 9/10 reactions are negative Part of the deal; live with it Wait for the one “YES”
Perseverance Believe in yourself! You have to fall to be able to stand up
Sense and nonsense of a contract Full publishing contract Full JV Semi JV Self publishing … &- reflections on combining both
1 What I Learned The Hard Way (Playing) with language is not easy … study… and read ! Personal opinions on good/no-good Don’t fight for everything … until you are JK Rowling
2 What I Learned The Hard Way Selling is difficult The internet seems personal… but it’s not Competition is terrifyingly hard
3 What I Learned The Hard Way <ul><li>DO WHAT YOU CAN </li></ul><ul><li>Reach out to friends, family, … </li></ul><ul><li>Profile yourself as a writer, not a wannabe-writer! </li></ul><ul><li>Shout it from the rooftops </li></ul>
4 What I Learned The Hard Way <ul><li>eBooks might just be the future </li></ul><ul><li>Better get familiar with it </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t like it…but publisher forces me to </li></ul><ul><li>Does it change how we should write???? </li></ul>
Thank you 4 listening http:// www.facebook.com /kurt.frenier