What I Learned from Best-Selling Authors About Writing Books
In light of the current situation around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am self-isolating as well and doing my part in flattening the curve (stay at home, kids!).
And during this time, I have read many articles, blogs, magazine features, and books on famous best-selling authors and the grueling hours they have put into getting to where they are today. From all that I have learned from their efforts, I am using it all to finish the third book of my trilogy, The Black Shade of White, a fantasy and paranormal novel with romantic, suspense elements!
Want to know what they are? Here are some tips I would like to share with other hard-working new writers in the field like me!
Keep a Notepad with You at All Times
Thought of something inspirational while you were doing warm-up exercises? Jot it down in your notepad. Can’t carry it with you? Use your phone’s notepad app.
Even if the notes are not useful afterward, do not delete them. You never know when these little snippets might come in handy for any future writing projects.
Read as Much as You Can
And wake up early while you are at it!
Especially for your chosen genre, reading books from other authors will not only add to your vocabulary, but it will also inspire you to add to your writing. Certain traits, specific genres can be quite inspiring. Soon, you will be bursting with ideas, so much that you will be itching to get to your computer and start writing.
Edit, Then Edit Some More, Then a Little More
Edit repeatedly while you are at it. And keep on going until you feel that your content does not need more improvements. Focus on the tenses, if the tone changes from the first person to third or second, and follow a singular train of thought. You want your book to be readable.
Stuck on a particular point? The only way out of the mess is smashing through it!
No writer likes dealing with writer’s block, but if you are stuck in a scenario and can’t find a viable way out, just keep writing. You will wobble through some of the initial dialogue but carry on until you are in the next phase of the book.
Once you feel like you have gotten over that hurdle, think about some scenarios that will suit the scene, then go back and switch things around.
As a writer, it can be easy to think that nothing is working in your favor, especially if you get stuck on a plot point then have a bad day. Do not lament the fact that things are not turning out as you thought they would. Like all bad things, this too shall pass. But it will take a long time to move if you keep whining about it.
Be Open to Criticism
And brutally honest criticism at that!
If you are going to be in the book world, you will have to be ready for questions, comments, and criticisms that will not sit well with you. Some will be dumb, and others will be ignorant. Learn where to take your criticism from, and do not act as though it is a personal attack. Create a small group of select readers and ask them to be frank after they have read your work. It is all material in the end. The good and the bad!
Oh, easier said than done, but a classic tip nevertheless!
If not today, your book will have its birthday, look forward to that. Keep writing, and do not let your writer’s block stop you. And if push comes to shove and you feel like you can’t handle it, stop, take a deep breath, and get yourself a hot cup of coffee. Coffee solves everything. Then get right back to it, on the path to writing your first book; who knows maybe you will go on to be the most published author of all time!