Category: Style -  L.A. Tripp
 

I asked this special author..."Where do you start?" Then she proceeds to pull her hair out. Just kidding. It's a question some authors are likely asked a lot. So I had to return the favor ;) Anyway, Ms Byrd gave us a fantastic response, so I wanted to share:

Katrina Renee Byrd

Where Do I Start?

I hear this question a lot. It is one question that packs a real punch. When people ask this one questions they are usually asking three things.

1. How do I get my ideas on paper?

2. Where do I find time to write?

3.. Where does the piece of work need to begin?

Where do I start? How do I get my ideas on paper?

I can think of some great ideas but when I try to write them, there’s nothing there.”

Honey, there’s something there,” I say as I fluff my boa. “You just have to know how to access it.”

One of the most common mistakes about getting ideas on paper is that we try to edit before we write. We hear the ideas in our head but we work diligently to erase them and we don’t even know it. Here let me show you. Take out a sheet of paper or open your word processor. Write the following:

sorry” she said but that wasn’t good enough for the teacher. She still said that she’d call her mother That scared Ellen. She walked slowly from her bus stop thinking… When she reached the front steps her mother stood on the porch. “Get into this house right now,” her mother said.

Look at what you’ve just written. Is it punctuated properly? Is it coherent? Is it something you want to share with your English teacher? Of course not but you have gotten the idea on paper. Take a minute to do some editing. Then take a look at my edits.

“Sorry,” Ella said. She stared at Mrs. Johnson, her second grade teacher behind thick glasses. Ella said it again, but sorry wasn’t good enough for Old Lady Johnson.

“I’m calling your mother this afternoon, young lady,” Mrs. Johnson said shaking a finger at Ella then turning her back to Ella and addressing the rest of the class.

Where do I start? Where do I find time to write?

I am too busy. I just don’t have time to write?

Busy doing what, honey?” I ask.

That’s the real question. We are all busy but what are we busy doing? If you want to be a writer you must write. I was shocked when I realized this concept. So walking around town advertising myself as a writer is not the same as being a writer? Sadly it is not. Neither is cleaning your house, nursing your boa flouncing career or being at every writers’ group meeting. So when I really embraced this concept I found some fun ways to write small pieces AND get feedback!! Dare I say it out loud? FACEBOOK, blogging, twitter… All of these entities give you the opportunity to come up with creative, short pieces in a short period of time. Another way to jump start your writing life is to carve out small periods of time for your writing. At this point it’s not the number of minutes or hours that you write but rather that you honor the time that you’ve set for yourself. If you say you are going to write from 3:00 pm – 3:02 pm then have your butt in chair, keyboard in hand and sit there for two, uninterrupted minutes of writing.

Where do I start? Where does the piece of work begin?

This question is a bit difficult to answer because so many of us write differently. Some use an outline, some fly by the seat of their pants and some do both. For me, I have come to realize that where I begin writing the story is not necessarily where the reader begins reading it. So when I sit down to begin writing a story I may begin writing “…and they lived happily ever after.” Where as once the story reaches the hands of the reader the first line he sees may be “Once upon a time.”

Some writers write linear and some don’t. Even with an outline I may choose to write chapter five first then go back and write chapter two. I really think the import thing is to know yourself and feel brave enough and free enough to begin writing wherever you’d like.

 So to answer the question where do I start? I say, “WRITE!”

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Here are a couple more dynamics to keep in mind.

We all deal with cultural issues. Americans live differently from Asians (for example), so they make different lifestyle choices. We also show respect a bit differently. However, when you peel away all the surface layer elements just mentioned, an Asian woman and an American woman will both notice what they consider to be a hot guy when he walks by. The core attraction applies no matter the culture.

This also holds true for the differences between black, white, brown, Asian-American, Native American, European, Swedish, French, Canadian, Mexican, Jamaican, and any other culture you can think of.

Brad Pitt, Vin Diesel, J. Lo, and Angelina Jolie are all considered hot across the globe. Yet, they could all represent different cultures. However, they’ve cut through the surface layers and stir the attraction in your gut, or a lower part of the anatomy. People in every culture recognize confidence and sexiness. Those things are universal. Erogenous zones are the same world wide because the human body is the same. And, bottom line, the same body parts are used for sex and reproduction in every culture, bar none.

You have windows of opportunity to talk to attractive women. If you don’t take these windows when they are presented, you either completely miss your opportunity to start getting to know someone who could be a great person, or you must be skilled enough to create another window of opportunity.

When you are meeting and interacting with women during the day in various public places, understand that these women normally have a to-do list in their head, so they may be in a hurry. They also (usually) have not put hours into making themselves up to go out during the day. They aren’t looking to meet anyone.

As you meet these women, the pace of the interaction is different, and the comfort level between you is different from meeting them in a club or bar. Those same women will be more difficult to meet at night.

Most guys can be ready to walk out the door in minutes. With guys who really primp themselves, it takes a half hour, tops.

When women primp themselves to go out at night, they put a hell of a lot of effort into their appearance. You’re looking at one to two hours of prep time. They want the men they meet to have the same pride in their own appearance. These women also want to stand out from all of the other females they expect to be out on that given night. They fuss about their hairstyle, makeup, each article of clothing (tops, pants, shoes, tights/hose, etc.), earrings, finger rings, eyelashes, and more, all in an effort to catch your attention. So, guys, reward them for that.

What actually tends to happen is, as one special person said to me, “My girlfriends and I used to go out to look to meet someone, but eventually, you start thinking, what’s the point? You don’t meet any men of quality, any men who have standards. Even the sex isn’t satisfying, if you go that far.” Guys, time to change that dynamic.

Let me also state this:

Reading beyond this page will offend many, including those who consider themselves righteous and holy, those who consider themselves very conservative, those who refuse to think any negative thoughts, and those that can’t stand someone being blunt with them.

If you fit into one of the above categories, I still encourage you to read further. Why? Because, as uncomfortable as it might make you, you’ll still learn from what’s in this book.

I’ll be honest with you in this book. I’ll pull no punches. I’ll be straightforward and put the truth in your face. If you can stomach all that, I promise you’ll shut the back cover, after every word has been read, more enriched than you are right now.