Is it easy to be a writer?
For each of the heroines of our project, the creation of texts is a matter of life. On the intricacies and secrets of their work, we received first-hand answers. Bonus - tips for beginning writers!
Oksana Darovskaya, author of novels
Advice to novice authors is one - go to the end
There is an opinion that writing must be done from a young age. Then, supposedly, there is a chance to break through, be noticed, perhaps even become famous. It seems to me that there is no general rule in this matter and it cannot be. I started writing relatively recently. And for this, much coincided: studying at the Institute of Psychoanalysis at Moscow State University (where she entered in 2003), accumulated life experience that overlapped with a deep study of the human psyche at a university. It was thought that I had something to share. She sat down for the first novel, and in the process of writing she suddenly realized (it would sound trite, but it’s true) that I can’t help but write. During work, I experienced happiness that is difficult to compare with anything else. Puzzled then, I would certainly become a writer, I think nothing would have come of it. Ambition appeared, but much later, when the novel was already written. Then I clearly wanted the manuscript not to be “on the table”, but people would read it. My first book, “The Life and Love of Elena,” is dedicated to Woman. Her fate is absolutely genuine, although it goes beyond the usual female destinies. So I did not have to invent a plot. Elena had a lot of difficulties, but she did not break down, she kept kindness and sacrifice towards people. The book has already been published. The second, submitted to print, the novel has a long title: "The Choice of Savva, or Anthroposophy in Russian." This is the story (also not made up) of the Moscow doctor, who gave the first half of his life to traditional medicine, and then went into anthroposophic medicine. Meetings, discoveries, circumstances that led the hero to such a choice ... I worked on this book for two years. A third book is ahead. This time I write "out of imagination." To invent a plot from scratch, to breathe life into fictional characters is much more difficult, but freedom for imagination is much more ...
Olga Frenkel, screenwriter of the sitcom “Deffchonki” (TNT), director
Be very frank with your reader, viewer. If ten years ago a fortuneteller told me that I would become the author of a popular series, I would not believe it! ... After graduating from the faculty, I worked as an English teacher at MGIMO. Later - on TV: news stories, press releases, interviews, eyewitnesses, announcements for programs, holiday scripts, commercials. And a few years ago I learned from a friend (he is from the cinema industry) that TNT is looking for ideas for comedy series. Immediately, literally “on my knee”, I threw some thoughts: four friends live with such characters, this could happen to them. I didn’t invent anything special. And suddenly the response news: "The idea was approved, let's work." They began to write scripts. They wrote for a long time, almost three years. During this time, I managed to get married, give birth to a daughter. Everyone asked: “What have you been writing for so long?” How to explain that I'm new to this business, learning on the go. For one night, on the wings of inspiration, writing a script is not about us. It was rather like this with us: we write, we laugh, it seems genius! We bring to the channel, read, wait for recognition and applause. And in response they frown: not funny, the turns are too predictable, rewrite! And at that moment I already got into the taste of writing, it offends me for my “creativity”. How many times did you want to quit. It is now that I regretfully delete entire scenes if they impede the action of the plot. At first, the acceptance of scripts on the channel turned into a tragedy for me. I felt sorry for every line, every word! If I then knew how many times still I would have to rewrite and finish everything during rehearsals and filming ... The script and the literary work, as it seems to me, are two different things. Shukshin said: “The worse the literature, the better the movie.” And vice versa. Unloved on paper series "Deffchonok" in the process of filming suddenly turned out to be the funniest. Another scenario is a much more mobile, living substance than a story or a novel. From the moment of writing the first version to the moment the filming ends, the script changes beyond recognition. Say, there is a rehearsal, and the actress says: "I can’t say so, the phrase doesn’t lie down with me." Or: "I do not understand why my heroine behaves this way." I think: but she’s right, this moment is really false. We sit down and remodel everything together, sometimes we change the plot. Many movie masterpieces are the result of collective creativity: George Danelia - Victoria Tokareva, Eldar Ryazanov - Emil Braginsky. So I definitely need a co-author. To understand: funny - not funny, interesting - not interesting, truthful - false. ... What next? In my thoughts - the idea of a new comedy series. Inspired by one of the sitcom actresses - Anastasia Denisova, who plays Pallu. The events of her life are so exciting that you do not need to invent anything, take it and write it down! There is another idea: a more adult project is a tragicomedy. The main thing I understood: the key to the success of a script or a novel is the presence of personal experience experienced by the author. Talk about yourself or what you know well from the inside. Work in an advertising agency - talk about the everyday life of advertisers. Sit at home with your child - write about housewives. The main thing is to be honest with your reader, viewer. And he will certainly reciprocate!
Anna Zyabreva, editor of Yoga Journal, blogger
You need to love what you do. Then there will be enough energy, time and inspiration! I spend all the time writing and editing texts, so blogging for me is, on the one hand, a logical continuation of work, and on the other, a change of activity. I started LiveJournal six years ago and in the first years I published notes that were interesting to a rather narrow circle of acquaintances, most often “locked up.” But everything changes: the format of my Internet activity has also changed. Two years ago, my friend and I opened the Air We Inspire community (air-weinspire. Livejournal.com), in which we decided to collect what we like: inspirational photos and shoots, beautiful stories and interiors, things that are simply pleasing. All this was conceived as a modest project for two, but, apparently, we successfully caught readers' expectations: unexpectedly, the community became incredibly popular. I have a personal blog (anna_zyabreva.livejournal.com), several culinary projects, my favorite one is Funky Fork (funky fork.livejournal.com) with Saturday lunch recipes. And also a “working” yoga blog on YogaJournal.ru. It’s difficult for me to evaluate the general audience of all blogs: yes, more than 20 thousand people read Air We Inspire (which I in no way consider to be my sole merit), my LJ is more than 2000 , more than 3000 are involved in culinary projects, and the audience of the Yoga Journal can easily override all these figures in total. But you know, blog traffic or the number of readers has never been my goal in itself. I live by the rule: I have to sincerely and with full dedication do what I like. I travel a lot, take pictures, bring thousands of shots from my trips, dozens of new recipes, impressions and useful tips - and I am happy to share all this in my personal blog. I talk about what my life consists of. The concept of social responsibility is very important for me, so if I can share information about a charity marathon or a public event, I will not miss the chance to do this. A trend that I have been observing recently: blogs are actively going online from offline. And I love it! How to make your blog popular? First of all, you need to write only about what you really understand. Interest in your topic is a key success factor. Secondly, records should be regularly updated. But if there is no mood or strength, then it is better not to write anything than to pour your negativity onto the audience. By the way, about the mood. This is the third important rule: always be friendly! Well, the fourth tip: to sincerely love what you do. Then everything will be enough time, effort, energy and inspiration.
Says Georgy MURYSHKIN, decorator, illustrator (including books by D. Harms and G. Oster):
Before creating illustrations for the book, of course, I have to read it. I do this not always with pleasure - alas, sometimes the text is not of the best quality. Most of all I like to illustrate books in which there is some interesting or new thought, idea. Often this is technical literature or journalism. In addition, there are not so many authors who are involved, for example, in children's fiction - it is to her that you can make especially interesting drawings. The classics are endlessly reprinted, and new children's writers hardly appear. For one illustration, I always get a lot of sketches. What comes out of the book is only a tenth of the work. Previously, he was even envious of other illustrators who could immediately draw the “same” drawing. But I don’t throw out unnecessary drawings (I have accumulated a lot of them!) —They are my capital. I always draw the cover at the very end. She is somehow born by herself. I prefer simple covers, but they certainly carry some kind of thought. Many birds and houses - this is not the cover. After all, it should be understandable, like a poster. The buyer should notice the cover and immediately feel the author of the book, understand what and how the work is written. And want to read it.
Irina Naumova, winner of the contest "New Children's Book 2010" (Rosman Publishing House), author of the fairy tale "Mr. Kutsekhvost and Aliens"
For those who can write for children who is still a child in their souls. Looking back, I understand that what I got is hard to repeat. I am an artist by education. She always worked in her specialty, first in the theater, then took up illustration. She wrote children's poems for herself, for her daughter, on holidays to friends. When the children grew up, the idea came up to write a story about abandoned toys. Suddenly, the book “A hare went out for a walk” was accepted by the publishing house with my illustrations and published. But after that - a dead end. All my requests are either silent or rejected. Nobody needed fairy tales. And only a few years ago, Rosman Publishing House announced a literary contest, and I won it. By some miracle. About three thousand people took part in the competition! They made a contract with me, I wrote five short stories about Kutsekhvost. In the story, a family of field mice moves into a summer house when people leave after the summer. One book has already been published, the second is on the way. Since I began to write, life has become more interesting. It seems that you do not write it yourself, but as if someone is dictating to you the text, and the characters begin to exist on their own. I hear what they’re talking about and write down after them, sometimes I don’t even have time. They lead me. Of course, I can approximately imagine what everything can turn out to be, but I certainly don’t know. I admit, I did not expect such an effect at all. Perhaps this is inspiration ... More than anything, I like to read fairy tales, it seems, I have already re-read everything. And my opinion: only one who is still a child in his soul can compose for children. I started writing relatively recently, ten years ago, so it’s hard for me to give beginners advice. I know that various seminars are held at the Literary Institute. Although, it is likely that you cannot learn to write: either it is given or not. The main study, in my opinion, is to read more good authors. This advice was given to me when at the age of 12 I sent my poems to the journal “Youth”. Then they answered the beginning authors ...
how to write a story
Kurt VONNEGUT, one of the key American writers and journalists of the 20th century:
1. Arrange the reader’s time so that he does not think for a second that it was wasted. 2. Give the reader at least one character with whom he could associate himself. 3. Each hero must want something - even if it's just a glass of water. 4. Each proposal should pursue one of the following objectives: either reveal the nature or develop an action. 5. Start as close to the roundabout as possible. 6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your heroes are, let terrible things happen to them. Then readers will see what they are made of. 7. Provide readers with as much information as possible in a concise form. They must fully understand what is happening and be able to finish the story without your help. (Source: T&P)
Tatyana Stepanova, police lieutenant colonel, author of action-packed thriller detectives
In the detective, all the moves and turns must be accurately calculated. It all started like that. Somehow I spent almost half a year in the hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in a rehabilitation center, because of problems with the spine. At twenty and a little you can neither run, nor on a bicycle, nor on skates. There was absolutely nothing to do. She was fond of the Silver Age and at the same time read Umberto Eco’s novel “The Name of the Rose”. And I thought: an amazing, interesting, scary story can be written by sending heroes at any time. Composed a short story. Later, moving from investigative work to the newspaper of the GUVD "On Guard", she showed her detective her colleagues. A month later it was printed. And a little later, Spotted Death was published. Writing a detective or thriller is a rather painstaking task. You calculate everything, as in mathematics, achieving the maximum effect. But there are moments when she almost fell asleep, and suddenly, like an electric shock, such a move, such a turn! You jump to the table - urgently write down. I always know who the killer is. Thrillers and detective stories are written from the finale - at the beginning the foundation is laid, which then “shoots”. In the course of action, accents, individual episodes can change, but the foundation of the entire pyramid is at the beginning. I generally like to give readers little tips in the first chapters. Who interprets them correctly, that kind of enters into the game with me ... How is the plot born? Sometimes the image of a hero dictates him. Sometimes an idea. Helps and work in law enforcement. And how many cases colleagues began to tell me! “This story is from my practice ...” It is worth a lot because law enforcement officers, and even more so detectives, do not really like to share their experiences. The most pleasant thing for me in writing is the process itself. But finished stories should not be kept on the table. They should be brought to the attention of publishers and readers. My advice: do not be shy, knock on all doors. Go ahead! Everyone once started.
How to start writing?
Advises Anna NIKITINA, journalist, presenter of the author’s course “Writing a Story” at the Cosmopolitan Academy:
If you have never, never written anything at all, except for work letters and shopping lists, this does not mean that you are “late”. As my experience shows, literary talents sometimes open up among girls and women who, in childhood, were considered hopeless in school essays and were not humanities.
To get started, you need ... just get started! 1. Find the opportunity to write not to the table, but so that someone reads you. Now the Internet gives such an opportunity. Start a blog and invite friends and acquaintances into it. For beginning authors, support and discussion are important. 2. You can also find an online community in which people write on specific topics, for example, try to write a continuation of famous novels or fantasize about the fate of the hero. 3. You need to practice regularly. If you are creating a similar online group, agree on incentives in advance. Often we cannot think of what to write about this time. Here are the options: group members take turns once a week to give an idea that is mandatory for everyone. For example, it offers a plot for the story, the characters about whom you want to write a story,
Often, having already started writing, a person falls into a stupor. It seems to be an idea, but I can’t write. In this case: 1. Do not try to write right away. First, plot the plot, then write a draft, then postpone it and come back later to re-read and fix it. Even great writers have redone their texts many times - and this is completely natural. It is important to get involved in the work, and most importantly, not to be afraid of a clean slate. 2. Speak your idea to loved ones. It’s not even a matter of getting appreciation or support from them. And the fact is that most ideas show their strengths and weaknesses when you put them into concrete words. It also helps to imagine that you already have a publisher and he asks you to send a brief summary of the work to evaluate it. It makes you pack. 3. If you don’t manage to get to work at all, try to start not from the eyeballs. Write one of the scenes in the middle of the future work. Or his ending. That will be the beginning, and thoughts will gradually turn into words. And do not forget to read a wide variety of literature, if possible, then in foreign languages. This is a good way to stimulate your own creativity. Good luck