How to Write a Best Selling Novel!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End May 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."
                                                        Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

The sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky....and it's raining....but only to my right.
The humidity level is so high that the underside of the trailer awning is covered with moisture. The dripping of this moisture makes it look like it's raining. If you didn't see the awning you would swear that it was raining with the sun shining and with clear blue skies. You might say, "You know the awning is there, so you know it can't be raining!".
Life isn't always logical.  We often don't see what's right in front of us. Be it something physical or metaphysical. Who has said after they've tripped over something, "Oh! I didn't see that!". Or you're walking down the street talking to someone next to you and you walk into a sign post. The sign post is a solid object right in front of you and you didn't see it even though you were probably looking right it. You would probably say you were distracted or your mind was elsewhere because whomever you were with would most probably be laughing at you.
Now you're probably saying, "How can something metaphysical be right in front of me?". Ah, Yes! A philosophical question.  God! Angels! Ghosts! Other Dimensions! You believe in God and Angels, but you don't believe in Ghosts and other Dimensions. You believe in Ghosts and other Dimensions but you don't believe in God or Angels. You believe in God and you believe in the Devil and you believe in Hell and you believe in Heaven! Or NOT! You believe in Reincarnation and you believe in Fortune Tellers and you believe in Auras. Or NOT!

"The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think."
                                                                                Edwin Schlossberg
How to write a bestselling novel - Method #1
1-Chose a topic that's always fascinated you.
2- Write an outline.
3-Research, research, research.
4-Spend 3 years writing 1000 pages.
5-Proofread, proofread, proofread.
6-Publish book.
7-Have word of mouth from readers turn your novel into a bestseller.

"We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to."
                                        W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)

How to write a bestselling novel - Method #2
1-Go on a Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
2-Find in your heart a message that has to be put into print.
3-Spend 2 weeks writing that symbolic metaphor of life.
4-Publish book.
5-The book becomes an International bestseller because this is your Personal Legend.

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
                                                                                        Jesse Stuart

I've spent the past 4 days reading the book Katrine bought me for Christmas, "The Pillars of the Earth". As the novel has almost 1000 pages this is pretty much all I've done these days. The author, Ken Follett, was known as a thriller writer when he wrote this novel. I had read his first best seller in the '70s and had also read a few of his other novels at that time. Living in England, he loved studying the architecture of churches and had decided to write a novel about the construction of a Cathedral in the 12th century. He started, then shelved the project for 10 years. Against the advice of his publishers he spent 3 years researching and writing this novel that was out of character and overly ambitious in comparison to what he normally wrote. The critics were harsh when it was first published (almost 10 years ago) but his audience loved it and through word of mouth it became a best seller.
In my previous blog I mentioned that I had read "The Alchemist". That novel, by Paulo Coelho, was written in 2 weeks and contains only 150 pages. Follett was already a nationally acclaimed writer when "The Pillars" was published and Coehlo was an unknown. They became bestsellers for different reasons and their targeted audience were completely different. The two novels came to me from the same source, Katrine, at the same time, and for different reasons. For some strange reason there's a link between the novels.
The author, Paulo Coehlo, went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint-James which is located in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The old pilgrimage routes start in France and wind through the countryside there before continuing into Spain. This pilgrimage inspired him in the writing of his book. The link with the other novel is that two of the characters in "The Pillars" follow the old Pilgrimage route to Santiago. That got me thinking. Actually a lot of things get me thinking, but let's limit this blog to this revelation. Last week I read Jeremy Kroeker's blog where he had visited the Holiest Mosque in Iran (read previous entries if you want to know who Jeremy is). This is what he said about that visit. "...I had a religious experience that day. I'm no closer to becoming a Muslim than I was before, but to see the intense worship and adoration of all these people touched me in a way I never expected. I felt justified in being there. Suddenly, I felt less like a tourist and more like a seeker. Maybe I had been called...".
So now I'm thinking. Is there a message here? Am I to go to Spain and follow along this same pilgrimage route? I will be writing a book about The Meaning of Life. Am I to experience more LIFE before actually writing the book? The most important thing an author must know when he starts writing is will there be an audience for whatever he is writing? I have that one covered. Everybody wants to know what the meaning of life is. It's a question that's been asked since the beginning of time. When I've mentioned my plans to write this book to the people I've met during my travels they are all interested. So I have that one covered. To do justice to the topic the message must be global in nature. So just writing about the meaning of life in North America won't mean much to somebody in China or Europe or South America.
So that's where I'm at now. Trying to clarify exactly what I am planning on doing. Maybe "The Meaning of Life" won't be my first book. Maybe my first book will be a photo journal of inspiring photos with quotes included? Maybe I will just publish my travel blog. It's already 80 pages long. Once I'm done my Journey and tweak the blog a bit I'm sure it would be at least 150 pages long. But would it sell? Question! Questions! Questions!

"The key to non-anxious sermon-writing is that it's not about me. It's about the congregation. I honour the fact that the listeners bring more to the sermon than I do. I remind myself of the hundreds of times someone says, 'I loved how you said...' and then tell me things that they heard that were nowhere in my text and that I never said. But they heard what they needed to hear."
                                        Reverend Sean Parker Dennison, Ministrare, 04-07-2006

My blog usually takes most of the day to write. My awning is dry now so it no longer looks like it's raining. I get sidetracked when I write. I start writing, then I do research on my topic and start following a link to another topic or some other website that's quite interesting and then next thing I know it's a half hour later and I haven't written a line yet. That goes on and on. I'll bookmark a website so that I can go back later. I've bookmarked a lot of websites lately.
I went to get my haircut this week. April, the hairstylist, asked me if I was from around here. Then I went into the whole travelling and writing bit. She asked if the book would be from a religious perspective. I said no. That's what I've noticed in my research. Most people will take a subject and look at it from only one perspective. Einstein started looking for a Theory of Everything in the scientific world. I want to expand that to a Theory of Everything for Everything. Will I find it?

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."
                                                            Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
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