Regarding your project book, How the Footnote Led to World Peace, I am delighted to hear that you found my input "insightful." (I never do get that feedback from my own Focus Group, however. Usually it's, "Why are you wasting our time with this trash, Boss?" -- the last deferential appellation thrown in, I assume, to reassure me that they still wish to be on the payroll?)
Further advice? More input you ask? I dare say, you don't need much. You make writing look soooo easy. Your encyclopedic knowledge is so much more impressive than my dictionary knowledge. Not only is it more informative, but it is usually a much funnier read as well.But since you asked for advice, let me share with you the "bones" and a brief summary of my soon-to-be Best Seller book project:
The 5 EEEEE's to EZ Writing
Evoke -- Good writing is sometimes built upon the foundation of an evocative, stimulating premise which arouses an emotion, or an interest, or recalls an image, or a memory for the Reader. (i.e., How the Footnote Led to World Peace, interesting...)
Elaborate -- Once you have hit upon a surefire evocative premise, you must then actually begin writing the book! Elaborate upon the topic from every imaginable perspective that you can think of, (I call it writing "off the top of your head,") before turning to the dictionary or the encyclopedia. This way you can give it your own personal and fun-loving flavor. (And people can more easily see what a free-thinking artist you are.)
Sometimes it is slightly helpful to check out a dictionary or encyclopedia to get a broader overview on the topic. (But if the encyclopedia's coverage is simply amazing, you must resist at all costs the temptation of copying it straight out of the book for your book...)
Evolve -- As you write, your thoughts will undergo an evolutionary process, and change. Don't get flustered by this. It is during this crucial time that the material is trying to find, and refine, its "voice," (i.e., lots of rough drafts, unless you are a "natural born" writer like I am, in which case, only one draft is necessary.) Write about what interests you, but always bear in mind who your audience is, ie. the Focus Group! -- and pray that your blather resonates with them...
Eviscerate -- Once you have accumulated a sufficient amount of Drabble, then its time to run it past your Focus Group, and let them do their job. After all, this is what you are paying them for. (Their task is to eliminate all the useless parts of your Block-buster and render a verdict on the merits and commerciality of what is left...)
Eventuate -- Depending upon the feed-back from the Focus Group, you may finally go ahead with the Book!
(Or, possibly not!!!)
On a side note: What do you think of these "bones" for a potential block-buster book concept? Could it not help but become a Best Seller? More importantly, Would you buy a copy or two if I priced them under say, $50 a pop? )
In any case the book writing process is simply this:
- Start with an idea that interests you,
- generate a catchy title,
- expand the central theme into a paragraph,
- then into a chapter,
- then digress sufficiently and blather away to give the book the proper "heft,"
and then... Make many trips to the Bank!
- and when you take it to the Focus Group, pray that they like it!
Ideally, the Focus Group will give you the "Green" light, and demand a series of sequels. They may even go so far as insisting that you turn it into a screenplay, or a mini-series, or some other such goldmine!!!
Or they might respond like my bunch usually does, "Whoa! Slow down, Mister Writer Man. Red light. Red light! Why are you wasting our time with this drivel, Boss?" ("His writing used to be sooooo much better... and he wrote about such more interesting stuff then, too! Well, at least our paychecks keep clearing the Bank, but at this rate, who knows for how much longer..?")
Simple enough, see?
So, write on, dear Rough-Drafter and make me proud!
-- Tips from the Bardmeister