Archive | December 2010

Encouragement to the Aspiring Author

I am frequently asked why I decided to write a book.  I always enjoyed reading in a wide range of genres and often found myself writing short stories or poems in my spare time.  When I think about it, I’ve always been a writer.  I’ve maintained  a journal all of my life.  On a daily basis I use my writing as a way to relax and stay focused.

Another question I am asked by aspiring authors, is whether I can help them write their novel .  I always feel bad because the actual writing of a book is usually a solo job or at least it was for me.  There are something’s that a new or aspiring writer can do to make the path a little smoother.  The most important piece of advise I can offer is to write, write, write.  Here are some additional tips that will help a new writer.

1. Use a outline.  Writing is like taking a road trip with the family.  It is a long and tedious ride that involves a lot bathroom breaks and you watch the scenery as it passes by going to your intended destination that seems to take forever.  Like a road trip, your outline should plot out the story from beginning to end.  The writer should have a clear idea of how the story would end.  You wouldn’t pack your car for a family road trip, get in and start driving without knowing where you were going would you?

2.  Know your characters.  Each of your main characters should have a written bio, including a full name, address, occupation, marital status, hobbies, friends, general physical description, good qualities, bad qualities, motivations, etc.  If you don’t know your character how will the reader.

3.  Write what you know.  It is always easier to write about what you know.  Sure you can research any topic and write about, but will your readers actual feel you passion for it.  Real life is much stranger than fiction, tell the reader what you know.  There is always passion in what you know and believe.

4.  Keep  your writing relevant.  Be careful to stay on task when you write.  It is easy to wonder off the path while writing.  Make sure that what you tell the reader is relevant to the story.  Always ask your self is this relevant and would the story still move forward without this information.  If you answer yes, copy and paste that information somewhere else, but delete it from your current story.  Save it for later.  You may be able to use it later.

5.  Find a good editor.  It is true you only get one chance to make a good impression. There is nothing worst than unedited work.  It is always a good idea to have a professional editor review your work before submitting it a publisher.

Most editors will give you a sample edit.  This is very important because you need to make sure that you and your editor are compatible.  Also be sure the editor you choose is familiar with your genre.

6.  Join a writing group.  I belong to several writing groups.  I have found it helpful and motivating.  It helps to know that you aren’t the only person with writer’s block and that there are other writers have problems with plot twist too.

7.  Don’t give up!!  My first piece of advise is still my best piece of advise.   Write, write, write.  Keep writing.  Never throw anything away.  You never know when your creative juices will go into overdrive and propel you forward.  You may find your self picking up a short story you wrote years ago and weeks later find you have produce a best selling novel.

With all that being said, good luck!!