Advice for New and Aspiring Writers
What follows are several points of advice for new and aspiring writers, though perhaps none of it is necessarily profound – nor is there a theme to the post, simply a few quick hits from all over the writing process.
First, what should you write? Well, you should read and identify what it is that you like or dislike about what you’re reading. Not just the plot/dialogue/etc., but note the sentence structure, the adjectives (or lack thereof), the layout of the story as a whole. How do the story’s chapters typically end? How do they begin? What points of view do you like? It’s easier to write things you would enjoy reading, so it’s important to hone in on precisely what it is that you like; many readers-turned-writers have never actually considered that question.
Second piece of advice is simple: write or do something each day that advances your story along. Some days that may mean you write twenty pages; other days that may mean you simply spend some time thinking about or working out some sticking points in the plot. Whatever it is, it’s important to do something so that you maintain a sense of progress and forward momentum. Writing a book can be a long slog, so stay positive, stay progressive, stay structured, and you’ll be at the finish line before you know it.
Third, figure out what kind of a “system” you like to write within – if any. In other words, are you the type of writer that just likes to write stream of consciousness style? Fly by the seat of your pants? That’s fine, if so, but if you find yourself arriving at a final manuscript at a much later date than you’d hoped with a page count double what you’d wanted, then it might be time to reevaluate your approach. There are a variety of different methods out there that you may not even realize you would like or benefit from, methods that provide a format for gathering your thoughts, developing the same, and keeping you from falling too far astray of your primary points. This comes with the requisite pros and cons calculation, as those in the latter column are likely to say that too much rigidity chokes the life out of the writing process, which in turn filters down to the writing. The converse, of course, is that you arrive at a much leaner, more on-point version of a first draft, one that should mean far less time hacking away fat that – let’s face it – none of us want to do.
E.M. Thomas is the author of two novels - an epic fantasy (The Bulls of War) and a historical fiction set in Ancient Greece (Fortress of the Sun).
E.M. Thomas was born and raised on the East Coast of the United States but is a world traveler at heart. He caught the writing bug early on and has a passion for all good fiction, but especially that of the fantasy and historical variety. One of his favorite moments thus far in his young career was writing a chapter of his latest book about the great battle of Corinth - while sitting amidst the ruins of ancient Corinth.
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/emthomas
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