Writing Hurts Like Hell, For Busy People

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(biffmitchell.com) New book based on ten years of creative writing workshops shows busy people how to write a novel step-by-step from initial planning to final revisions. By Thom Glen

“We all have a story in us and this book is a blueprint for getting that story told.” This is the premise of Biff Mitchell's new book, "Writing Hurts Like Hell: How to Write a Novel When You Don't Have Time to Write a Short Story".

Based on a decade of teaching writing workshops to busy people, Mitchell has written a book that offers a step-by-step process for conceiving the idea for a novel, developing the idea into scenes and chapters that tell the story, visually plotting the novel specifically for busy people, and writing the actual novel within the boundaries of a busy schedule.

“I was working a demanding full-time job that frequently required working overtime, raising kids, and a few other things when I wrote my first novel,” said Mr. Mitchel. “Finding time to write was tough but, over time (and a couple more novels), I worked out strategies that helped me get the writing done.”

Mitchell describes his book as “hands-on” training for aspiring novelists. “Because this book is based on workshops,” said Mr. Mitchell, “it’s not something you just read and then sit down in front of a laptop and snap out a bestseller.”

Writing Hurts Like Hell contains dozens of activities that force the reader to write instead of just read. “That’s the only way to learn how to write,” said Mr. Mitchell. “By writing and re-writing and writing some more. And that’s what this book makes people do.”

“In fact,” said Mr. Mitchell, “I’ve long since stopped trying to teach people how to write. Instead, I teach them how to become writers, how see the world the way a writer sees the world and respond to the world a like a writer. I did this in the workshop through activities that force people to stop reading and talking and start experiencing. I 've carried these activities over to the book."

According to Mr. Mitchell, most people never actually finish a novel because they wrongly assume that, once they have an idea for a story the rest is going to be easy: They just have to write it.

“Writing a novel is anything but easy,” said Mr. Mitchell. “It’s hard. But I’ve worked out a writing approach that breaks the process into phases and steps that will allow the writer to chew instead of choke on the work; things like learning how to write quickly and fluidly before even thinking about starting Chapter 1.”

Most of the activities take just minutes to perform, according to Mr. Mitchell, but, done consistently, they accumulate into the first draft of a novel. “I’ve laid out a plan and workflow for taking that first draft and turning it into a manuscript that’s ready to be sent off to a publisher,” said Mr. Mitchell.

"Writing Hurts Like Hell: How to Write a Novel When You Don't Have Time to Write a Short Story" is currently available in Kindle format at Amazon and will soon be distributed through other online publishers. A print version of the book is also in the works.

About the Author

Biff Mitchell is the author of five novels, including the Boston Jonson cyber mysteries, and numerous short stories, novellas and poems published in ezines and literary journals. He’s also the author of the bestselling ebook eMarketing Tools for Writers, 2nd Edition. Mitchell has been teaching creative writing workshops for over a decade through the University of New Brunswick’s College of Extended Learning, the Maritime Writers’ Workshop, the Foglit Literary Festival and Culture Days Canada.

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Thom Glen
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