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About Writing Right: The Blog


Someone went online the other day to ask how to write a book scene. Not surprisingly, there weren't a ton of people jumping up to help him with an answer. For good reason, as you'll see from my response.

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How do you write a book scene? Simple. You sit down at your computer (make sure it's turned on first). You open up a blank page. And, you start writing at the beginning and continue until the end.


I told you it was simple.


What's not so simple is getting the responsive answer to your question you seek from someone else. That's because there is no responsive answer from someone else. You're the writer. You create the scene from the thoughts, visions, and images in your head. You do the heavy lifting. You take the reader wherever it is you want him to go.


Now, let me ask you something. Do you really think anyone else can do all those things for you? And, if so, then who is the writer—you or that someone else? If you think someone else can recommend specific steps to take other than the ones I've just given you, you have more to learn about life than how to write a book scene.


Think about it. What is writing? A roadmap that everyone shares with everybody else in order to turn out content that's remarkably similar to everything already written? Or, is it a unique expression of a person's innermost thoughts to create gripping, original, and creative material? If writing were the former, then everyone would be cranking out the same, tediously boring work, and he'd might as well be writing blogs for a living. But, if it's the latter, that would explain why some works are genuinely inspired and inspirational while others fall short. Never forget that, in the end, it's the thought that counts. Literally. It's what's going on in your mind that matters--that and how you decide to portray those thoughts through the written word.


So, get serious. Get creative. Get to work! That's the only way it's ever going to happen. After conventionally publishing nearly a hundred books and tens of thousands of shorter works in a wide range of genres—plus stints at teaching Creative Writing Workshop and editing—I can safely say you can believe this: Writing isn't a group sport. It's not a team effort. In the end, it's what one person does to entice another person into thinking, acting, or feeling. It's what motivates real writers to write really.


I hope this helps, even though it's not the response you were hoping to receive. And if it doesn't, well, you can always sit back and ...


Smoke if you've got 'em.

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D. J. Herda is author of the new ebook series of writing advice, About Writing Right, available at Amazon and at fine booksellers everywhere. You can also check out his weekly column, "The Author-Ethicist," at Substack. It's free, it's gripping, it's informative, and it runs weekly. Well, almost weekly. Occasionally weekly. Sometimes weekly. (Hey, he does his best!)

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