Article Title: Sharing some Thoughts on Writing that "Great American Novel" *
* or that of any other country (South Africa, New Zealand ??)
Author: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Writing, writing the novel, Writing Course, Creative Writing Course, the novel, Writing Hints/Tips
Web Sites: and

The submitter's blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at

Publishing Guidelines:
This piece (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.

"We share what we know, so that we all may grow."

Sharing some thoughts on Writing that "Great American Novel"*
(from Online Creative Writing Course)

* or that of any other country (South Africa, New Zealand ??)

"Writing is like sex in that it can be very nice when you are thinking about it, terrific when you are doing it, very satisfying afterwards...and you write because you have to."
- anon

"Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp post how it feels about dogs."
- Christopher Hampton, British writer and dramatist

Firstly, the point of view or person you choose for your writing helps create your tone and perspective. First person narrative means writing from the “I” point of view. As in: “I walked down the street, I walked into the shop; then I told Peter firmly, yet calmly that he was going straight down if he didn’t cough up the money by Monday...OR ELSE!”

Writing in the FIRST person is probably easiest, especially for first time novelists.With the third person narrative form, the writer uses the ‘HE/SHE’ form. As an ‘egg-zample’: “He walked down the street, walked into the shop, then Michael told Peter firmly, yet calmly that he was going straight down if he didn’t cough up the money by Monday...OR ELSE!”

Second-person is the least-used form in novels, mainly because it usually reads more awkwardly. The second person is the “YOU” point of view, . For example: ”If you’re looking for a literary agent, you’ll no doubt have a hard time... but then you may be perhaps have more luck than this aspiring and perspiring writer!”

A few words of advice...

# Take an objective viewpoint in your story

# Don't shift viewpoints. Write from one perspective: first, third person, etc.

# Write as you talk.

# Develop your characters in the story, let them "unfold", change and grow... as in life.

# Introduce problems with which the reader can identify or sympathise. Bring in emotions (such as pity, contempt, fear, anger and hatred).

# You can even use the technique of flashbacks. A difficult tool, yet effective, if not overdone.

# Use dramatic symbols, termed 'foreshadowing'. Eg: When Joe went into the store, he had no idea he was about to make one of the biggest blunders of his life. Foreshadowing builds up dramatic intensity in your story.

Read with care and attention. In her book, 'Becoming a Writer', Dorothea Brande suggests you should read a book twice in quick suggestion. First for enjoyment, then to discover how the author tells it. Look at the techniques, successes and failures of the narrative. Do you think the author succeeded in his/her aims at the outset?

Write what YOU want... for fun. Like any craft, you learn by practice - only later think of publishing.

Think of a new angle for your story. For example: opposition to quarry - "greenies" vs businessmen for "progress". Instead of describing the protesters chained, write about the child injured.

A question: Does your novel have some fresh ideas about human life?

See your story, is if it's taking place before you on a lighted stage...make the reader see it. Then they'll FEEL it. In summary, write smarter, not harder.

I only write about subjects, about which I'm passionate - for a PURPOSE: Through sharing and hopefully informing, I write to impel some type of action or reaction in readers and also to allow them to see things in a new way - perhaps from a different perspective.

"My writing mission is through my words to inform, illuminate, entertain, uplift, delight, as well as hopefully even inspiring people. I aim to do this by sharing my knowledge and life experiences – through supporting, encouraging and empowering others to be the best person they can possibly be."

You too can implement a plan, a purpose for your writings. It may be to inform, impact, enchant, dazzle, enlighten, or even uplift others spirits through the immense power of your words. For example, as a contrast between
writing light-hearted words of entertainment, or ones of suspense and maybe sadness. Otherwise you may use the power of the pen to write incredibly moving words of laughter and love. "You incredible romantic", Mills and Boon, here we come!

You need to be totally sincere about what you write. Write from the heart, even at times from the inner depths of your soul. You will find that it will stir you and touch every fibre of your being. Be proud of what you write. If you think it is good, say so. Who cares anyway (if you are a little "vain")! Most creative people, like artists are. Write with authority - get your facts right by doing proper and detailed research. Be original, be
patient, persevere and don't build up your hopes too high. Accept that no publisher has an obligation to publish your book. Your job is to make her (they usually are in this industry), or him want to publish your book.

"I write because something inside myself, inner and unconscious forces me to." That is the first compulsion. The second is one of ethical and moral duty. I feel responsible to tell stories that inspire readers to consider more deeply who they are." My writing reveals who I really am (an "arty-farty type"???)

Use the beauty and grace of language to tell your unique tale.

Happy writing and enjoy your creative journey of self discovery and self fulfilment.

Craig Lock (Eagle Productions)

“One writes to teach, to move or to delight.”
- Rodolphus Agricola


You don’t have to be like this great metaphor...
“Full many a flower is destined to blossom unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air."
- Thomas Grey (from ‘Grey’s Elegy’)

So shine your own light of understanding in YOUR area of expertise, wisdom and knowledge... through sharing your writings with the world

Author's Bio: 

Craig is a writer, who believes in (and loves) sharing information with a touch of humour, as well as encouraging and helping others to find their talents and gifts, to strive for and accomplish their dreams in life - whatever they may be.

The various books (including numerous novels) that Craig "felt inspired to write" are available at and

Craig is currently writing two novels ‘Stirling’ and ‘The Prize’. Perhaps even true stories! But then can a novel be a true story or stories (because I thought novels had to be fiction)? I’ll leave you to ponder further.

"The world's smallest and most exclusive bookstore"

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children - MINE

What's the definition of an aspiring author?
A waiter!

What's the difference between a writer and a family pizza?
The pizza can feed a family of four!

The submitter's blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at