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John DeDakis

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You Should Write a Book
By John DeDakis
Last edited: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010



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Recent articles by
John DeDakis

• A Son Remembers His WWII Dad
• Remembering Dad on Veterans Day
• I'm Afraid to Write!
• Wow
• Behind the Scenes in a Troubled Newsroom
• Who Should Direct the Movie of my Novel?
• Why I'm a Man Writing as a Woman
           >> View all 27

Easier said than done







 Most writers are motivated to write because of things that have happened to them. And the first instinct is to write it as a non-fiction autobiography because the experiences are so vivid and personally profound. Often, well-meaning friends who've heard you recount portions of the story exclaim, "You should write a book!" 

But they don't realize just how hard that actually is.

One reason it's harder than most people think is that if you're writing non-fiction, your editor will need to know more of the facts and context of any given story than you - from your narrow and limited point of view - actually know. So, as you try to write FACTUALLY, you'll discover that you don't know nearly as many facts as you thought you did. 

Of course you can set out to find those missing details, but, as a journalist, I can tell you that the process is time-consuming, expensive, and fraught with all kinds of difficulties. And perhaps the biggest difficulty is that if you're writing things that are unflattering about a person, you could get sued for defamation of character. Even though what you're writing is true , if the person's not a public figure, you could lose a lot of money defending yourself in court.

It ain't worth it.

Not only that, but, publishers are less likely to want to make your story into a book because you're not well known, making it harder for them to sell the story of a nobody to the general public. Publishing is, after all, a business.

So.......?

Here's what I suggest:

Use those personal stories as a way to inspire your imagination. Change some of the details of the events and characters so that the real people won't recognize themselves, then build a story that still conveys the deeper "truth" you want to communicate. If you have a vivid imagination you'd be on firmer ground going in that direction. That's because you get to "dream up" the facts, something an editor of non-fiction won't let you get away with. 

That's how I dreamed up my first novel "Fast Track." The book got its start because of two traumatic experiences in my life: a car/train collision I witnessed as a kid, and my sister's suicide. But, instead of recounting what happened in the style of a just-the-facts-ma'am journalist, I made up an entirely different story - a mystery/thriller - that still highlights themes and truths surrounding sudden death and suicide. I used my imagination to create a story that would resonate with people who don't know anything about me personally.

If you're able to camouflage the true events that happened to you and create a compelling story that still conveys a deeper "truth," you may be able to write not just one book, but ten, simply by using what happened to you as your creative muse.

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Reviewed by Ken Wood 3/2/2011
Some real truths in this piece, the romance of writing a book is far divorced from the reality
Very honest and usrful article.

ken Wood
Australia
Reviewed by TONY NERONE 5/28/2010
Thanks for the insightful advice, John. I just finished my first chapter and I feel absolutely drained.


GOD BLESS YOU
TONY
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 4/26/2010
I agree, this is a good idea. I've been wanting to write a book about myself for the longest time. Your idea is great!!

Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Janet Caldwell 4/21/2010
I have found this to be so true, I have changed mine from auto-bio to a novel. It has been 9 yrs in the making. lol x
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman 4/21/2010
Two of my three books, "Becoming" and "For Better or Worse" are what I call semi-fiction or faction. When asked, I tell people that the situations are pin-point remembrances's that I've embellished and built a fictional story around. I use the names of a number of people that are alive but never in negative terms, and those that are negative characters are all dead, and with these characters I do use fictional names.
I think the hardest thing about writing a book, and the above named two books are both in excess of 700 pages, is the commitment of the time needed to write the book.
Mark

Books by
John DeDakis



Troubled Water (Kindle Edition)

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Troubled Water

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Bluff (Paperback Edition)

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Bluff (Hardcover Edition)

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Bluff (Kindle Edition)

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Amazon, more..




Fast Track (Kindle Edition)

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Fast Track (Hardcover)

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Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..


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