Writing in the New Year

Writing in the New Year

If one of your resolutions is to write your book, here are 6 tips to help you become a better writer in the upcoming year.

  • Write every day
  • Make a time goal and stick to it. If all you have is 30 minutes a day, make it work. Put away distractions and set an alarm. If you’re stuck for ideas on your story, use writing prompts to write a short story or scene about something else. I have quite a few prompts in past posts (with more to come) and a quick search yields many options.
  • Don’t edit as you write
  • This might sound counter productive, but you’ll never finish if you’re too focused on making a perfect book in one pass. You can go back and rough edit on a scene or chapter basis, but if you don’t go back and edit after it’s all written, I can guarantee you’ll have continuity errors or scenes that feel flat or just don’t fit.
  • Take a breather
  • After you’ve written everything down, walk away. Pick it back up several days or weeks later and read it with fresh eyes. What doesn’t work should be very obvious when you read it as a ‘new’ reader.
  • Read for pleasure
  • Good writers are good readers. If you aren’t reading other authors in your chosen genre, you can’t know what your potential readers might like.
  • Get critiques
  • Will friends and family give you an honest critique? Maybe. I’ve seen some awful drafts with great potential that friends and family raved over. Maybe they don’t know how to critique without sounding critical, maybe they thought they were being supportive, or maybe they were the wrong ones to ask. Find a good genre specific writers critique group to join. If you don’t like live settings, look for a virtual one.
  • Write for the story, not the money
  • Many new authors think their book will become an immediate success and all their troubles will be over. It’s not going to happen this way. Write a good story, then write some more. Let your ideas loose upon the world.

Any tips you’d like to add? Leave a comment!

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