As part of my Le French Book publishing venture, I get the rare privilege of working with a number of very successful French writers as we bring their work to new readers in English. David Khara is the author of The Bleiberg Project, a conspiracy thriller based on World War II and its consequences in today’s world. It was an instant success in France, and is now available. He shared some fine writing advice and all the rest with me. I’m happy to share his thoughts about inspiration, writing, success and failure. I’ve distilled them into five tips. Today is number one.
Writing a novel and making it special
Before you start writing, ask yourself this simple, but important question: “Why do I want to do this?” Rule out anything that sounds like “I’m so talented” or “Mine is the best story ever.” There are so many people hoping to be published that nobody is out there waiting for what we have to write. But there is one thing that will make your novel special, and that is you. So:
- Be true to yourself.
- Be humble.
- Never forget that writing and reading is all about pleasure.
- Don’t let anyone tell you it is hopeless.
- Do not anticipate success or failure, since it is doesn’t really depend on you.
- Write, and then see what happens.
Still, do not fool yourself. Writing a novel requires countless hours of work. You’ll be thinking about it every minute of your life once you start. Sometimes you’ll read what you did the previous day and hate it, so you’ll start all over again. You’ll face discouragement, doubts, fear, but you can be sure most famous authors experience the same feelings even after reaching stardom.