Friday, 4 April 2014

Published Writers: How Did They Do It???

 Hello everyone, I'm back.....




As an unpublished writer, I thought it might be interesting to find out more about those envied souls – the published writer.  As there are so many of them and so many genres, I decided to select an author randomly (pointing a finger) from A-Z and focus on what he or she had to say about writing, hoping against hope that some of what they had to say would be of great publishing value.  As it’s quite a large tasking, I thought it might be fun to share this information with other would be published writers and hear what they have to say about the author, their writing or the craft in general.  And, if by lucky chance, a published author happened to take a peek at this blog, well, all comments much appreciated. 

This week’s featured writer:  Sidney Sheldon, according to Hoyle, 7th best selling writer of all time.

Mr. Sheldon’s quote on the writing process:  A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.

What inspires his work:  I start with a character.  Period.  I have no plot.  I don’t know what’s going to happen next.  The character takes over.  When I was ready to write Rage of Angels, for example, I told my publishers only one line:  ‘Imagine F. Lee Bailey, Melvin Belli, Louis Nizer and a dozen other top criminal lawyers, wrap them into one and make it a beautiful girl!’  They said: ‘Go!’

The importance of characters:  I am consumed by my characters.  If one of my characters has a toothache, my tooth hurts.  If a character is hungry, then I’m starved too.

Violence in his writing: There is a core of violence within me.  I feel I’m capable of killing.  My ancestors are Russian.  I see the drama in things.  Writing about it gets rid of the hostility.  You know, I have a theory that if there were no writers in the world, there would be a lot more murderers, rapists and arsonists.

Work schedule:  I start out dictating my first draft to a secretary.  Then I do as many as 12 to 15 rewrites.  I work a full eight hours a day and keep to a close schedule.  I will say, “Monday:  pages 1 to 40.  From 10 to 11am, pages 1 to 5.  From 11 to noon, pages 5 to 10” and so on.

Admired Writers:  I love the people I grew up with:  G.B. Shaw, John Steinbeck, Somerset Maugham, and Thomas Wolfe.

Comments:  I think this project is going to work out fine.  Although I don’t write in his genre – doesn’t matter of hill of beans, the art of writing crosses all genres - there are two things that stood out for me:  the structured, writing day and the importance of characters.  I too can relate to my characters, however, not on his gut level.  I write daily but tend to distract myself with Twitter, Facebook and games.

Would appreciate any and all comments.  Cheers! And keep on writing….






  1. What a great idea for A to Zed! I love this. I am not a Sheldon fan but this is interesting and I like hearing about the actual writing day. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jan. I so agree with you. We may like or not like an author but it doesn't mean we can learn from him or her. Cheers!