Advice to new Authors from Authors
❤ ❤ Advice for new Authors ❤ ❤
Not long ago I did a lot of author interviews. One of my questions is what writing advice do you have for aspiring authors? After reading over every interview I thought compiling all the advice in one place might be helpful for a new Author. Maybe this will help that one Author that is having a rough day or feels like quitting. Please never give up. ❤
My advice is to not listen to any advice LOL Of course, you should do things like make sure your book is edited and other business-y things, but when it comes to actually writing, there are absolutely no rules. If someone tells you to do it a certain way, that just means they work that way. Don’t ever feel like a failure because you can’t make a giant post-it note timeline on one whole wall in your house. Just because someone else’s way works for them doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. No two people are the same and books are the same way. Find what works for you and stick to it! And, most of all, BE HAPPY. Nothing is worth it if you aren’t happy.
Write what you want and don’t listen to anyone else about it.
Read as much as you can in the genre in which you’re going to write. That’s the best way to get a feel for the pacing of the stories in that genre—and for pacing in general. Then write, write, write. The more you write, the better you’ll get, and the more you’ll recognize where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Keep reading and keep writing. Don’t give up because if you’re truly a writer, those stories are going to claw at you until you set them free.
PATIENCE! Your first book isn’t going to get you to the New York Times– and yourself an editor!
Write. The best way to get anything done is to sit down and actually write. I always find that I have no idea what I am going to write until I actually start and then it seems to flow out of me. Always use a professional editor and cover artist. Your work needs to be professional if want readers to buy your books.
Write, write, write…and then write some more. The rough draft is only the first step to publishing.
Do not fear the editing process. It is your friend and will make you a better writer. Criticism can be difficult to take, but it’s essential because writing is not a craft that can be honed after one project. It may take multiple efforts before you hit your stride, and you won’t find it unless you keep writing. You don’t become an author because you aspire for outward acceptance and praise. You do it because there’s a drive to share a story that won’t loosen its grip until you do it. It can be true creative freedom. Embrace it and, in the darkest moments, when you’re ready to give up, remember the initial joy that comes from the creative process and start again.
I guess I would say focus on the story. For me, I am always working on just having a good story despite trends. I know, now with the Fifty Shades movie, that’s a trend that’s happening right now. Trends don’t last and I made the commitment to focus on the story and just getting better at showing it, not just telling it. Plus, read. It’s harder for me to find time to read because I’m writing and doing other things but I make the time. So focus on the story and keep reading.
Believe in yourself and be your own biggest fan. If you don’t believe in yourself first, who else will?
Read. Read. Read. Reading is the most important thing. You learn through reading books. Also, never give up.
Read, get a critique group to provide feedback, challenge you, and cheer you on. Then read some more. Study the way your favorite authors pull off description/emotion/etc.
Write, write, write! Then read a little. There’s only one way to get started, and it helps to stay abreast of what’s hot in books at the moment.
Stay true to yourself, do what you want, write what feels good to you no matter what anybody else says.
Read! It was Stephen King who said “only through reading do we have the tools to write.” Stock your tool box by reading as much and as often as you can!
Keep going. Don’t give up on it and always be open to new things. Step out of your comfort zone, not necessarily with topics to write about but with the social and networking part of it. Don’t be afraid to talk to people or ask for help or sign up for things you are terrified to do because once you do those things, you will open so many doors.
Write. Write. Write. And don’t be afraid of the delete button (or, if you’re like me, copy and paste the cut words to another document. There might be some pieces of gold that will work for another story.)
Find your tribe, the people who support you. You don’t have to be in competition with each other.
Keep at it! You will improve with practice just like anything else. Don’t be afraid to research things you’re not certain of, such as character arcs or writing structure, to actively improve your writing.
Don’t stop chasing whatever it is that you want. Learn from other writers and find your own voice.
Keep writing! Don’t give up no matter what. Just keep writing. And finish what you start! It doesn’t matter how badly you’ve written it. It’s a draft. It’s something to build on. First drafts are always crap, but until you have a first draft, you’ve got nothing to work with. From that first draft, great stories can be created. AND finally, have fun with it!
Be true to yourself. You’ll have naysayers and those that just don’t like your work. Sad, but true. You can’t please everyone all the time. Just remember that. Take only constructive criticism, because it will help you tighten your writing skills and become better. And above all…stay true to yourself and what message you want to convey.
Take your time. That is the best advice I can give anyone, ever. It’s okay if it takes you an extra three months to get the book out, do.not.rush.
Learn the craft of writing. There is SO much that goes into constructing a GOOD story. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of how to write a good book. It’s so worth it.
As far as story structure goes, I would highly recommend checking out STORY by Robert McKee and A Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.
Let go of the fear. Fear stood in my way for way too long, and eventually, it turned into regret – regret that I waited so long to try. I was afraid of rejection, afraid that I would write a book nobody would read or care about, but then the amazing reading community proved me wrong. There is a place out there for every word written – you just need to believe in it.
Trust your words. Don’t worry about anything else and just write. Get your story out and worry about anything/everything else later.
Keep writing. The hardest part of the whole process can be just finishing that manuscript. Remember you can edit and revise later, so don’t get hung up on a certain part. Keep moving, and when it comes together in the end, you will be so proud of yourself for accomplishing something as complex as writing a novel.
Aspiring authors – Don’t read the reviews! Keep moving forward. Promotion is a lot harder than you think and very time consuming. Make friends with other newbies and work together to promote so you have enough time to actually write.
Try. You never know until you try. I started playing with a story and never thought it would go anywhere. Now I’m a published author on Amazon’s best sellers list.
Be honest. In everything you do and everything you show, be honest. Creating a fictional world begins with honesty.
I would advise authors to curb that need to edit what they are working on until they have finished their first rough draft. It’s tempting to edit and rewrite that first chapter without continuing forward, but you’ll find yourself unable to get past the first chapter if you do that. Don’t edit your thoughts or your words until everything is on the table. Then you can go back and rework your manuscript.
I’d say, first and foremost, write, and write what you love. Read guides on how to write, which would help you improve your craft. Writing is a continuous learning process and there’s always room for improvement. Also, make sure your book is professionally edited before it gets into the hands of readers.
Advice for aspiring authors…you should note that not all my advice will work for every single writer…and I tend to write a little sarcastic. It’s how I roll so don’t be offended. Here are my biggest takeaways from writing two sci-fi novels over the last year and a half.
1.) Write every single day. No excuses. No matter what. No, I’ll do it tomorrow, I’m too tired, I should walk the dog, I have to cook dinner yatta yatta yatta. If you’re saying those things you don’t want to be a writer bad enough. You should walk the dog? You better have a notebook in your back pocket ready to take notes. Oh, you need to cook dinner? That laptop better be propped within typing distance so you can switch back and forth between writing and stirring the Béarnaise sauce. And lord knows I can’t count the times I’ve been so tired I’ve fallen asleep with the laptop across my chest. I usually wake up to find I’ve written at least one sentence and a whole lot of aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…it’s still a win.
2.) It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks and yet IT MATTERS what someone thinks. My second piece of advice to aspiring authors is to find other, like-minded people who are doing the same thing. Talk to people. Share ideas. I spoke to one guy who was in the process of writing his own book. He said he didn’t want to share his ideas or his thoughts because he was afraid it would “disrupt my process” or that I would “steal his ideas.” Needless to say, I gave him a piece of my mind. We as writers are in this together. We don’t “steal” another person’s story. And disrupt the process? YES PLEASE. You might say something profound that makes me think of something different!
Bottom line, build a support system with friends, family, co-workers (because rarely can you quit your job and just write…at least at the start of it all.) and the oddballs you find online that you know nothing about (and that’s the best part). Get every one of them to read your drafts…all seventy five thousand of them, and give you advice. HARD advice.
3.) This one relates to number two. Grow a thick skin. My younger brother, Michael, gave me a brilliant piece of advice when I was starting my first book. I was handing it out to beta readers and family members who, (now granted I had told them to be harsh) were crushing my soul and making me feel like my work was complete garbage. (By the way, the first draft IS GARBABE. So let’s not sugar coat it.) Anyway, I was having an “I’m worthless and this isn’t worth the headache and the criticism,” moment when he literally swiped the computer off my lap, went to the end of the page I was working on and typed: “No matter what other people think or how they feel the story should progress, it is still YOUR story. You got this.”
I add that quote at the bottom page of every manuscript I’m working on. It matters what people think of your work, but at the end of the day it is still YOUR work. People are going to say all sorts of things, good and bad, through the beta reading and editing process and beyond when the book comes out. That’s part of the process. Something to cry over and be inspired by. Trust me it’s worth it. This leads me to my last piece of advice.
Just keep writing and learning your craft.
Never give up. Keep at it, no matter what.
Read, Read, Read, Read. Is the best advice I can offer anyone. You want to keep the language alive in your head and reading is your strongest tool.
Something that I always keep at my side are two notebooks. One to take down notes for future projects and the other to give myself a daily bullet point task outline for my stories. Organization is key and keeping outlined notes for your daily writing not only helps you visualize your story before putting them to print, you also can help keep your word count high and productive. An important thing to remember is that you will always divert from your previously written plan and never fear that. Trust your instincts in the heat of the moment.
Never give up.
Write what you know with a dash of make-believe, a pinch of “Oh Sh*t!” sprinkled with a little “ha ha” through out. And keep on writing!!
If you’re serious about writing, you should try to write every day. I know we all have busy lives, but try to find a way to spare at least an hour a day on your craft. You would also benefit greatly from connecting with other writers. There are wonderful writing groups with regular meetings, and it is a great place to learn. Conferences are an excellent way to network and connect with others who share the same passion. If you have a chance, look into a conference in your area. Most of all, don’t give up. We all struggle with indecision and may even feel like giving up. Stick with it. You might try specific things to make your time writing more pleasant. You can try lighting your favorite candle, playing music that inspires you, or you might do better if you work in a bright and sunny space. It is your special time, so make it work for you.
Keep writing, keep you nose clean, learn your trade! Oh, and don’t feed trolls.
Don’t worry about being perfect on the first draft. Just get your information down and then perfect it when doing revisions. I still find errors even after pushing the publish button.
Write as much as you can and do it because you love it. Don’t worry about what the end product will be. Just tell the story.
Don’t give up. As soon as your book is done get it in beta readers hands for honest feedback. Once your book is out PROMOTE!!!
Advice for new Authors. Research all options before publishing. Whether self pub. or with a company do a little research. Once you have published, Promote yourself. Don’t just sit there and think people will know about your book. Get it out there.