Conversations: 2/17/2017


There is a book on the self of my local library that enjoys what I call “staying power.” The title: Cheaper by the Dozen fits right into my theme this month of beautiful things, excellent writing and good lessons learned when we write with passion and purpose. This novel was first printed in 1948, made into its first movie in 1950, then a second movie in 1952, followed by the stage play in 1992, and two more recent movies in 2003 and 2005. Although several of the tips listed below apply to the Cheaper by the Dozen novel, stage play and films, the authors recognized the passion and purpose in the lives of these characters and the love and laughter we Readers appreciate.

Here is my third dozen roses for you to consider…


  1. IF you’re considering using a Narrator to tell your story, you must develop this person with as much detail as you’ve done for all the other characters.
  2. Be prepared to re-write and re-re-write until you’re heart and head tell you it’s time to let this book fly.
  3. Words are the writer’s friend—and enemy. If you don’t know the definition and usage of a word DO NOT USE IT.
  4. Don’t allow yourself to be derailed by ideas for other The simple fact that you ARE a creative writer/thinker opens the door to many other book ideas while you’re developing the current book. KEEP FOCUSED ON THIS ONE BOOK.
  5. IF you have an idea about another book, write a one-line concept sentence into a notebook that is SET ASIDE specifically for these ideas.
  6. Many authors have discovered that their dreams will guide them, especially when they feel stuck. It might be necessary to have a notebook or tape recorder beside your bed.
  7. Find a reading/writing friend who trust, and who will sit and talk with you about “the story” you’re writing. You do not have to take their comments literally. However, they will help you move the story forward.
  8. Don’t even try to creatively write a chapter and simultaneously edit it. These are two separate processes and where you can find personal enjoyment in both.
  9. Value yourself as a writer and value what you’re writing. These words your building into a book will define your writing career and, in many ways, define you.
  10. Take laughter breaks! Play with your children. Go to a movie. Take a nice walk with the dog. Have a picnic with your sweetheart! Not only will you feel better physically and emotionally, but your inspiration quota will increase!
  11. Remember: Every novel is about people. We all have quirks and one or two of your characters may be very “quirky.” However, too much quirky-ness is not an easy thing for Readers to enjoy.
  12. As you’re writing visualize the people/characters IN THE MOVIE. Go back to your very detailed, very descriptive backgrounds you’ve written about each character. Is there an actor (past or present) who fits? Listen to their on-screen dialog and watch their actions and reactions.


NEXT WEEK: the fourth dozen. ⚓︎


ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

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