Since I published my first novel, I've helped a few of my aspiring writer friends and family members to actually get their asses in front of their keyboards and write anything from blogs to kids' stories to novels. People often ask me how long it takes, what my creative process is and for general tips and tricks. The other day one of my friends said I should teach people how to write.
I'm in no way an expert on the subject and I'm still learning with every chapter I type away at. But I have found some things that make it easier to keep on track.
I thought that I would share some of them here with you and maybe, just maybe, manage to inspire you to write as well.
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If you can make conversation, you can probably write your thoughts down too.
You just need to have a basic grasp of language and a computer or typewriter, really. Add some free time and ideas to the mix and you're good to go.
* Good readers make good writers.
* Choose your writing style.
In blogs, I've found that I like the ones which are written a little more conversationally. People relate better to someone who seems to be talking to them personally. This works especially well for blogs that promote creativity in all of its diverse forms. From cooking to fashion to DIY and beauty would fall into this group.
When you put your thoughts in a more structured, formal way, it reads more like a newspaper article, which is good for blogs that are more concerned with world news and events. You always want to at least seem to know what you're talking about. :P
In novels, you want to choose a style that you're familiar and comfortable with. Don't start your narrative in a tense you're not sure about, for example. If you struggle with the tense, it's going to hamper your creativity, which will result in you scrapping the project entirely. Take my word on this one.
Also, if you choose to write from a certain perspective, stick with it. It's not cool when you're reading a story in the first person one moment, and then you switch to a global perspective in the next. I personally like to write in a more global way, because it can give you an insight into each of the characters' thoughts and feelings. You might like the first person more, aiming to bring the story home from your protagonist's view.
Do you want to write in your native language or in English? I chose English because I could reach more people that way. There isn't really a market for science fiction in my home language, so I took that into consideration.
The point is, decide how you want to write before you actually start.
* Set a realistic writing goal.
When I say this, I mean you need some kind of structure. You need to decide how long you're willing to set aside for writing each day and stick with it. If you only have an hour in the evening, make use of that hour, every day. And also make sure you get your coffee, snacks and whatever else you need ready before you sit down. And go to the loo before you start! There's nothing as annoying as the need to pee while you're on a roll!
Also set yourself a realistic finishing date. That will keep you inspired to keep writing, because you're working towards something/
This counts for blogging too! Your readers expect quality from you, so make sure you deliver it. Set aside special time to blog. I've actually started blogging ahead. When I have a moment over the weekend when my hubby can watch the baby, I try to complete the whole week's blogs. That way, I know whatever I put out is good quality and I have time to relax on week nights.
Next time, I'll touch on research, because that's another thing you need to get done before you write your novel.
I hope you found this helpful!