Now that I’ve had my first novel published and am working on the second, I’m not quite a newbie anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of things I have to learn about writing and the publishing business as a whole, but I’m not nearly as green as I used to be.
Now when I meet wannabe authors, they ask me questions about the art of writing as if having a book published gives me a special kind of insight. I always appreciate the questions as I did the same thing every time I met a writer who made it into the realm of the published book.
To help pay back a bit, I asked the other wonderful authors for their top writing tips, and they were happy to share their thoughts. These tips will not guarantee you get published, but if you follow them you will do battle better prepared than trying to figure it out all on your own.
K.A. DaVur, author of Hunter the Horrible – Pick one project and finish it. One hundred half finished manuscripts equal zero manuscripts. Push through even when that first “rush” is gone. It will return, and when it does you will have learned so much.
Jenn Nixon, author of the soon to be released Hydra title Tiva Boon: Royal Guardian – TIP #1 Learn the rules of writing. Show Vs Tell, Passive Voice, Crutch Words, Pacing, Grammar, and Style.
TIP #2 Join a writers group-online or in person. Make sure you write in said genre. TIP #3 Learn how to write a killer Query and Synopsis and Proposal.
Eric Garrison, author of Reality Check – I think the hardest concepts for me when I started were point of view shifts and passive voice. The other thing goes along with what’s already been said here. Lesson learned from 5 years of “winning” at NaNoWriMo: Write something now, turn off the inner editor, and finish it. THEN fix it later. And I can say it works for me, since all of those 5 NaNo novels are under contract with a publisher now.
Aaron J. French, author of the upcoming Hydra release Aberrations of the Reality – It takes constant persistence and the ability to put yourself out there and talk to the people — in person, not just over the internet.
E.S. Brown, author of the soon to be released Starphoenix– Read and write everyday. Reading others’ work will give you a better sense of how ideas are structured and communicated. Writing everyday keeps your own skills in practice, and of course ensures you are advancing on your own projects. When you are writing, do so freely and without initial regard of being perfect. That’s what editing and revising is for!
Patrick Kanouse, author, Put your butt in the chair and write. — Not as easy as it sound.
Brick Marlin, author of Raising Riley – Don’t let that sadistic little verb Discouragement sidled next to you and force-feed you about how teeny-tiny you are in this huge ocean of abysmal literary forces. Discouragement will force you to remember how many books are stuffed in bookstores, telling you that you have no chance of ever becoming a story teller. Don’t listen to the muck! Write and write every day if you can. Keep up the good work! Give us tales that will make the frontal lobe of our brains slip into another world and hold on tight because the literary ride is yet to be over!
John Hartness, author – Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. And don’t measure your success by anyone else’s metric. Only you are the barometer of your success. If you want to sell ten copies of a book to your friends, then do that. If you want to sell a million books and live on a tropical island, then work towards that. But don’t let anyone make you feel like your success is not valid.
Tony Acree, author of The Hand of God – I have to add my two cents. The two which helped me the most is stop trying to make every chapter perfect. Don’t do a single rewrite until the entire novel is finished. Keep a folder where you take down notes, and when you’re finished with the first draft, THEN do your rewrites. The other is to write every day. I try and hit a thousand word a day minimum. If that is too much, then try for five-hundred a day. But write every day.
Best of luck and drop me a line when you get your first, or next, novel published.