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Becoming a Prolific Writer

I have described myself as prolific, and after looking at my early track record no one could disagree. I waited many years before taking up the pen to write. But once I started I took off by most standards, writing four novels in two years. Without hesitation, it is impossible to be a prolific writer if you are always getting stumped by writer’s block. In fact, it is tough being a writer at all if you keep getting stumped by anything, especially if you are just beginning.

No one but a writer is permitted the luxury of throwing up their hands and saying they can’t work for days, if not months! No doctor, lawyer, accountant or anyone else considers any type of block legitimate but writers. Imagine going to a doctor for a mysterious ailment and being told, “Come back in a couple of months. I have diagnosis block.” For myself, not having been trained as a writer, I had to choose whether or not to accept the odd notion of writer’s block. So when I started writing, I made a personal decision to reject the notion of writer’s block and instead be a prolific writer. Deciding to not accept writer’s block was easier than one might imagine.

Here are some of my tricks to achieve prolific writer status.

You Need Plots

It helped that I collected story plots for years before I began to write, but not having saved plots is no excuse. Once I committed to writing I set my mind to develop original thoughts. Good and bad ideas all went down on a list. Being intentional with these ideas starts the wheels turning.

Research Fuels the Idea Engine

The best time for research is before you write. My research goes into an auxiliary Word file that I create for each project. The things that I learn not only fuel the evolution of the story but helps establish the breadth of the story itself. Research has to be part of the joy of writing. It is an opportunity to expand one’s tent, so to speak.

It also has the potential to cut into your actual writing time. To become a truly prolific writer, you’ll need to set time for both research and writing. Both matter, but be sure to do them in equal measure.

Make Use of Pericopes

The word pericope comes to us from Greek through Late Latin and means “piece cut out.” Stated more succinctly, pericope is defined as extracts from a text that form a complete account or story. Pericopes come in different lengths and levels of detail.

I apply the concept of pericopes to build out sections of a story, so at any time I am building story blocks that fit nicely within one unified plot. Once included, these sections require the same finishing touches that the overall novel needs. Pericope blocks work nicely to include visualization of settings.

Pericopes also work well to add layers to characters that explain actions and motivations. To me, a flashback is just another pericope. By writing pericopes, simple stories can become delightfully complicated without becoming unorganized.

Guiding Question to Keep a Story Moving

Let me leave you with a small sampling of the guiding questions that I use to begin my writing day.

  1. Where is the story going and where do I want it to go?
  2. Where would most people expect this story to go?
  3. What is a good place for a pivot in the plot and should the transition be gradual or dramatic?
  4. Are the likable characters sympathetic and are the unlikeable characters truly detestable?
  5. Is it time for a character to undergo redemption?
  6. Does the story make sense?

And always remember, half of the enjoyment of a good story is to take the reader someplace that they did not expect. Becoming a prolific writer means more than just writing a lot—it means having a lot of stories to tell.

David Brown gives tips for success to Lulu authors.
David Brown

David Brown is the quintessential Renaissance man. He holds degrees in Quantitative Economics, Business, and Theology. To go with that David has held CPA licenses in multiple states. He was also ordained by a major church organization and pastored for several years.

4 thoughts on “Becoming a Prolific Writer”

  1. Vincent,
    I am focusing on just that issue right now. To your last question, I believe there is always room for something good that fills a need. I think that the best stories have not been told.
    Quality books are produced by teams. There is the storyteller (author), the strategist (editor), the polisher (proofreader) and the graphic artist (cover designer). For better or worst I have taken the last six moths to fill those roles. Only one of these came naturally to me. The other alternative is to hire professionals or marry well (LOL). But be careful who you hire. Good service is not cheep. I have already seen that using a different vendor.
    Once you have a viable product it comes down to making the right connections. I have seen that there are plenty of industry players looking for low hanging fruit. Low hanging fruit are products that have already gained traction in the market. You need to make your book low hanging fruit. That’s my aim.Good luck!

  2. Many thanks for your information, helpful, but could you say, having written the book, how to get it sold. This question I have never seen satisfactorily answered. Are there not too many books out there?

  3. Giving yourself a reason to write at least a bit everyday is a powerful force. Asking yourself the questions is one way, setting up a system that makes you write daily is another.

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