Any Suggestions?

Hello there everyone! I’ve been mulling over in my mind whether or not I should give a larger piece of writing a shot. And my conclusion is, why not! I figure that I might as well try rather than say someday that I wish I had. The question I’d like to put out there is this – A lot of you are writers yourselves, so what are some tips that you would give about where to start? I’d like to attempt a work of non-fiction, probably historical in nature. So it makes sense to begin by researching, and researching heavily! What after that though? Does it make more sense to just start writing or to plan out the details before beginning the writing process? What is a good way to organize thoughts and research so the writing process is easier? A particular author that I enjoy reading and would like to emulate, at least in his writing style is Erik Larson. I know you all will have some great feedback so thank you in advance! I’ll be sure to keep the progress updated as well.

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4 thoughts on “Any Suggestions?

  1. William R. Bowen says:

    I’ve read varying advice over the years. I remember reading a book by Rudolph Fleisch (of “What Johnny Can’t Read” fame). He said that you should sit down and organize your idea and work on an outline of your idea first. But most others that I have read have said that you just need to write. I think it was Louis Lamour (a guy I whose books I have never read, but he was prolific) that said that the ideas don’t come until you turn the faucet on (or something like that). David McCullough has said that when he chooses an era of history to write about, he doesn’t exactly know what the book is about and when people ask him in the middle of a project “what’s your book about”? He tells them “I don’t know yet.” He also said that we normally don’t know what we want to write about until we start reading. I also think that our academic work needs to be built on a wide base of research. When I wrote my dissertation, I tried to look at everything that had been written on my topic and I think I came pretty close.

    My problem is that I like to read, research things I’m interested in, take notes, but not ever actually produce anything. So I have it as a goal to write some every day and post the articles that I write (at least most of them) on hubpages. That effort has led me to write some articles that I now use in my classes.

    Hope that helps….

    • bewhuebner says:

      I also like to “research something to death” if you will, so setting a daily goal is a good idea! Thanks for the pointers and thoughts…

  2. randomresearcher says:

    just give it a go, and then edit and update as needed. You should have some knowledge of what you’re talking about already, but as you delve into it, you’re going to find much more along the way. Start with something easy that you like.

    • bewhuebner says:

      I do have a decent knowledge of what I’m thinking about but I think I’ll do some reading to update that knowledge for a little while to start with. After that I’ll just start writing though probably and see what happens. I expect a long editing and rewriting process though…lol… Thanks for the thoughts!

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