Now I’m no expert author, but I am in the middle of writing my first book, actually I’m at the end of my first draft.
I made it.
There’s still lots of hard work to go in editing and re-writing, but I’ve proven to myself that I’ve got the gumption to stick it out. As someone who’s only dabbled in creative writing through my passion at home, and a few classes at school, I found the craft fascinating and a lot harder than what I first expected.
Here’s a few tips on writing that I have found useful along the way.
- Read lots and lots, especially in the genre you hope to write in. I heard this could be bad when you are writing a book as you might unintentionally start diverting your story in the direction of the story you are reading, but I have found the opposite to be true. When I’m reading, often my brain kicks into overdrive and I have to put down that book and write a note on my fabulous idea.
- Write Notes. Wherever you go, take a little book with you, or sync your Evernote on your phone, just have somewhere handy to record your random spur of the moment epiphanies. I’ve created a handy printout for recording your favourite authors lines to inspire yourself. Find it here.
- The first draft is not that important. Whaaaat? That’s right, most authors say their first draft is a crime against humanity. You build a novel in layers, adding bits and pieces each time. Just keep writing, you can fix it later.
- Plotting is overrated. By this i mean, if you are stuck trying to plot that all important climax scene, but can’t think of the best scenario, just start writing, it will come later on. I do believe it is important to revisit plot after your first draft, it’s just not that necessary to start with. Stephen King starts out writing books when he’s been inspired by characters. That’s what drives his stories, not the events, they come later.
- Don’t break the chain This is the advice Jerry Seinfeld gave as an attribute to his success. Write every day, without fail. Even if its a dud piece or 100 words. Don’t become distracted by life too much, you will lose the story flow. You can apply this advice to any passion you have.