Welcome everyone, it’s “Ask Bob Blume“, A weekly visual column with a summary that addresses” issues relevant to today’s entertainment industry and which appears exclusively here on the Times Square Chronicles. I am your host and president of Step Forward Entertainment, a talent management and production company located in New York and Los Angeles.
Today’s column is Advice to writers from author Elizabeth Fuller
Over the past year, I have received a number of emails from young and newbie writers asking for advice. So this week, I thought I would invite renowned author and playwright, Elizabeth Fuller, to speak on the subject. Ms. Fuller has been a personal friend of mine for many years as I have produced a number of her plays and am in the process of producing her latest play (co-written with Joel Vig), The interrupted journey. The play, based on the book of the same name, by John G. Fuller has a major studio film with an “A” List star in the works.
Liz, as I call her, has written 10 published books and is an Op-Ed contributor to The New York Times. She has also written a number of plays, including the hit off-Broadway play, Me and Jezebel based on his book of the same name. The play has been produced in New York twice, receiving the Broadway.com prize for the best play of 2015; and has had productions across the United States and in 15 foreign countries.
Bob Blume: Hi Liz! How are you?
Liz Fuller: I’m great, thank you Bobby.
Bob Blume: I have a lot of young people who write for advice on writing plays and books. You are a longtime successful writer with books and plays around the world. I thought it would be nice to have you on the column to give them some advice.
Liz Fuller: Sure! I had a great mentor when I started in my early twenties working for a well-known investigative journalist and writer whom I later married. He gave me the best advice in the world! He said, “If you want to write a book. It must be your dedication.
Back then we were using typewriters because personal computers weren’t there yet, and he said get up every morning like you’re taking the commuter train and writing at your desk at 7 a.m. in the morning.
I did it 7 days a week and it became my job. I saw no one and would not let anyone pass “my desk” while I was at work.
I have continued to write many books and plays and always with total dedication. You don’t wait for inspiration. As the old cliché says, creativity is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.
It’s still scary. I was going to my computer and staring at a blank screen and then all of a sudden out of nowhere it happens. But you got to sit there. You have to force it. There is nothing like waiting for an inspiration that does not exist. And it is better to try to set the number of pages to be completed.
I set myself a very small limit of pages I had to have – a perfect page at the end of the day and not a page that I would flip.
And sometimes you have to rewrite. That doesn’t sound like a lot, 1 page a day, right? If you do one page per day and 30 days, you have a 30 page chapter.
I did it that way, so I wouldn’t have that pressure of having to go back and do a laborious rewrite. I made sure it was a perfect one! At the time, I would sometimes rewrite a page 13 times because that was before computers.
I could probably do 2 pages today but I could just put myself a page knowing that after a month I would have a chapter, and after nine months like a baby. I would have a book.
This is how it has been all my life. I started writing in my twenties but I don’t write books now because I write plays which is my true love.
You can say to yourself, “I can’t feel it today!” You never want to! You go to your computer and you are terrified when you sit down in front of the screen. You are terrified. What if it doesn’t come?
I believe a lot in the spiritual and I have what a lot of creative people, like Mozart, Chopin, who believed that all their compositions came from their guides or maybe they didn’t call it that, but I called my surfers. I see my spirit guides on surfboards, and I say OK, bring it to me.
I have found that if I start a book and can have a good first line then the book is done. Gone with the Wind, the classic beautiful line is “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful but few men realized it!”
To repeat, if you can get a good opening sentence, the book will be written. It has been said that a writer writes the same story over and over again. And at the end of the day, I think I wrote the same story over and over and over again.
Bob Blume: Before I close, I would like to ask you the question, how do young and new writers view their product?
Liz Fuller: Previously, when the writer started publishing himself, it was considered a horrible thing. It would be considered a sticky, vanity product and wouldn’t go into bookstores.
Now “bookbaby” (https://www.bookbaby.com) is completely legitimate. If you have a story you can get it as an eBook, you can have it all over the world about a month after you make it! Apple, Kindle and Amazon and maybe twenty more can be contacted to release it.
Bob Blume: Thank you a lot. I know your advice will help a lot of young writers. What are you currently doing that excites you the most?
Liz Fuller: Well, the trip interrupted with you. Bob, I had to log in (laughs). Yes, and we are very excited to launch this play as the theater begins to open! Hopefully by summer or fall.
Bob Blume: You will see at the bottom of the column that we are going to have a link there.
Liz Fuller: Yes, it was written by me with another co-author.
Bob Blume: The link for more information on this is below. links to see the end of the column. Thank you very much for being with me. Goodbye.
Liz Fuller: Goodbye Bobby.
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