Friday, 20 June 2014

Writing a Book - My Top Writing Tips

1. Read what you write out loud. I made a video clip for YouTube where I read a short story and that taught me a lot. If it's written incorrectly you will soon find out -- you stumble when reading poorly constructed sentences.

2. Write somewhere where you feel creative. Strangely, I like writing on trains. Don't ask me why, I simply have no idea.

3. For convenience I wrote longhand and on paper. (shock horror, I hear you say) It was easier to carry around than a laptop (and I wrote before laptops were invented). I could also get my thoughts out more quickly. That is really important!! Paper is not wrong and it stops you editing and disrupting your thought flow. I am not sure this is necessarily correct, but it worked for me.

4. Don't read aloud on a train!! Although I suggested this in 1 -- you will feel foolish and may get arrested. You will also attract drunks. (remind me to write a later blog on how to get rid of drunks).

5. If you struggle with a long or difficult sentence -- think about what you need to say and write that instead. This is a really useful tip.

6. Vary sentence lengths. Short sharp sentences with lots of colons increases the pace, for exciting scenes, and then use long flowing script to slow it down.

7. A personal hate is authors who write stunning works and then their books become overly long, descriptive-riddled, door stoppers. The story is incredibly important. Never forget that.

8. Write and be prepared to write again. First works are usually not the writers best works. Often it is subsequent efforts that prove to be the best.

9. Embrace criticism. Never fight it. Not everyone will like your work so be prepared to listen why.

10. I paid an editor who changed every occurrence of ,but to But, -- it didn't work!! Stick to English as you were (or probably weren't) taught. Do not invent your own version of English. Being grammatically correct is very hard, but you must learn to be correct. It amazes me how very, very good some people are. There are so many pitfalls. For example, knowing when to use a hyphen between adjectives (compound adjective), brown-haired girl. There are (too many) websites that are very instructive.

11. Type compound adjective into Google, or click-here, and find a grammar guide that you understand from the list and use that in future.

12 Be patient. I was going to write about How to create a plot. However, I recommended writing short stories first, so I thought I'd give you more time to do that. I do hope they are progressing well and the above tips will help you to get further. My previous advice was choosing a genre and writing a book -- how to start, so if you missed those - dive in.

Tops for Writing a Book - How to Self Publish
Should You Pay for a Review -- yes or no?
Making Your Writing Interesting
Choosing a genre
How to Start writing a Book?
Creating a Plot for Your Book

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