Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Power of Suggestion

The Power of Suggestion when writing your first novel:

In my never ending journey to learn more about writing I have been sleuthing books on how to become a better writer. The most mind-bending one was a recent read by Rob Parnell titled The Easy Way to Write a Book that Sells that discusses mindset/attitude being tackled before the mechanics of the process. He begins with the history of the written word and quickly progresses to the huge advantages that writers face that write today. Could we be in more ideal times? From the use of word processors to the internet’s vast library resources, we have the perfect tools at our disposal. We as a people understand the written word like never before as books on writing have proliferated. Anyone who wants to write a book can easily acquire the tools for the mechanics of the journey. But what I want to focus on instead is the way a writer thinks about the world that can encourage or discourage the journey.

The brain is a complex machine. Psychologists say that at some deep level we remember everything it experiences. How to tap into this well of knowledge is at the crux of the matter. Our minds are always active, always trying to solve problems, experience the moment, helping us to cope with modern life. It is a miracle.

It has one flaw. It can only focus on one or two things at any given moment. Otherwise it gets stressed. But our subconscious is a different matter. It’s a vast storehouse. It enables us to enact routines like driving a car or playing a musical instrument on auto-pilot. That same process can allow us to write books if we embed the process in our sub-conscious. At least according to Parnell who thinks understanding this puts you half the way to writing your next novel. I think he’s on to something. Learn the proper techniques of writing early on in your writing journey and you can focus on storytelling through your sub-conscious.

He goes on to tackle the “Commentator”. You know that part of you that makes you feel inadequate to a task if you let it. I used to call it the mind-loop. He suggests grasping hold of it and stop letting it have sway over you. Some Commentators are not useful to the people they serve, not wanting to change their view of the world they will try to have sway over you and keep you from achieving your full potential. Parnell suggests grabbing hold of how it speaks to you and redirect it back with positive thoughts. Challenge its views and see the other side of things. Because, the sad truth is, if you don’t really believe that you will write and finish your first novel, your Commentator won’t help you. And it’s this same voice that writes your book. Get his/her head on straight and you’re half way done because you need that voice to be healthy, mature, and insightful to write your book the best way possible.

Parnell has written and taught writing for over thirty years and he can’t believe the number of writer wannabes that don’t finish their first book. This book is aimed at that group too. He wants to give them tools to help them finish and feel good about it. J

Happy writing everyone!
Best, January Bain
Forever Series
Champagne Books




January Bain said...

Happy Holidays to all my friends at The Writers Vineyard! And thanks so much for the advice and friendship. It means a lot to me. Best, January

Liz Fountain said...

I've completed two novels, have at least 4 more in various stages of draft... and I still need all the help I can get to finish them. Thank you, January - and happy holidays to you, too! You're an inspiration!

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

This sounds like a helpful book for any one of us. There is no such thing as too much knowledge about our craft.

January Bain said...

Thanks so much for commenting Liz and Julie! You are both such an inspiration to me!!!

Unknown said...

Thanks for this insight. It is a sad fact that so many people begin a novel, and then let it just sit there. And I'm guilty as well--I have several that I've started and still think of as 'in process', but I have so many other commitments that getting back to them is tough. But I'm committed (and probably will be one day) to ultimately finishing them. Just a matter of scheduling rather than motivation.