For Aspiring Writers

Moving up the Ranks

From ‘The Art or War for Writers’ by James Scott Bell

Finishing a story is hard work – at least, of course, if you’re writing a good one! Writing requires commitment, skill, talent, attention to detail, imagination and passion. But writing is equally a rewarding experience. When I finished my first novel, just writing the words ‘the end’ was such a satisfying experience. I knew then that I could do it, that I can keep writing, keep getting better and perhaps one day, even become published and give a reader an experience that really rocks them (in a good way, of course!)

The diagram above is something I found in ‘The Art of War for Writer’ by James Scott Bell, and although the chart talks about ‘novels’, there is nothing stopping you from substituting that word with ‘short stories’ or ‘poems’.

James Scott Bell explains:

  • at the bottom ‘wanna be‘ is the group where people say ‘I think I can write a good novel’ or ‘I want to’ – and with that persisting attitude, you can only want to be, you never can be
  • one step up and you have ‘learning‘. This is a wonderful place to be, because in front of you, a whole world opens up to you. You go to take writing classes, or you buy a book on writing, or you practice regularly, or you read some articles and take notes
  • third up is ‘finished novel’. He says, this is where real writers come from. A lot of things are hard to do the first time, but once you’ve broken through that bracket, you’ll be able to do it again, and again, with only better results.
  • after that, are people who have completed ‘multiple novels‘. It is very rare for a writers first novel to be published, so you keep on going, because, as JSB says, ‘you are a novelist, not just someone who happened to write a novel’.
  • next are those who get ‘published‘. This place is indescribably rewarding – not only have you satisfied your own needs by telling a story, you are going to share the journey of your characters with other people who are waiting to be overcome with emotions
  • then you have the ‘multi-published‘, where you continue to write, continue to give and achieve
  • finally, JSB describes the topping circle as ‘the wheel of fortune‘ where no-one can control what becomes the next breakout hit

It’s inspiring to vision all these ranks of the pyramid as chapters of your journey as a writer. Concentrate on achieving your goals and never stopping. You have a brilliant story to tell, and you have words as your tool to deliver it across the world. Keep moving up.


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8 thoughts on “Moving up the Ranks

  1. Great info!!! It’s all hard work and a long road but writing gives back to the writer ten-fold, I find, it’s just so rewarding! Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Loved the article. I can see where I have much room to grow.

  3. Thank you for this. I appreciate it very much an am frequently seeing what I need to lately. Well put. Someone above ‘wanna be’ and a ways from ‘finished novel’ is drawing what she needs from advice. *HUG* http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/phyllis-a-whitney-like-wind/

    • Thank you for your comment and I’m really glad you find it helpful. I found it really encouraging when I came across that diagram in JSB’s book, and just had to share it. Thank you!

  4. It wasn’t the diagram – making a dream true isn’t as blunt or easy as that. Other parts struck the right chords. The typewriter picture on your own blog is best of all, if you can believe it. Instead of stopping for months stuck on details; write something and keep doing it! Note to self: I can research accuracy on a few details after!

    Which author tempts you, Natasha Mostert or Winifred Elze? Neither show up in used stores. Original, unforgettable plots. I’ll blog intros about them ~ rest assured I avoid spoilers in my descriptions! As for recommending Mr. King; is it possible a book fan has never read him? I thought Sara’s observation was rhetorical! http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/what-i-like-to-read/

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