Kacey here wishing you a good morning and Happy Saturday! Another week has flown by and boy did it fly by. It’s amazing where the time goes isn’t it? I’ve been steadily working on my WIP this week and happy to say I’m just about ready to cross the finish line. This book will be done!
But that’s neither here nor there, today isn’t about that, but actually in a way, a family member who has had the urge to write! I’m thrilled to hear this and am eager to read a finished story by her! And incidentally enough, we had a long conversation via text last evening with a bunch of questions. It made me think of this blog and aspiring authors. So I wanted to share a bit with you some of that conversation, things I told her about the crazy writing life, how to begin and what to strive for first. Then focus on that.
And first and foremost what to strive for, is writing the story. That has to be the priority. Worry about all the other stuff that comes later after the story(ies) is complete.
Many think, at least some aspiring authors, assume that it’s as easy as just sitting down and writing a book. Unfortunately, it really isn’t. There are many areas that a writer usually needs to pursue/look into that will enhance their writing. Not only are that hundreds of great articles/information sites for writing online but there are also dictionaries, thesaurus’, grammar texts etc., that I would encourage new writers to read through/learn about before dropping in the chair to magically see words appear from their fingertips.
I have been asked many times to read a new author’s manuscripts and I wish I had time to read them all. I will read some but unfortunately there isn’t always time but I encourage writers to look for critique partners, which I have stated in past posts, and alpha/beta readers to help them learn and grow. I don’t care who might agree with me and if no one else does that is fine, but IMO there is no author that goes into writing knowing everything there is to know about the profession. It takes skill, continual building of the author’s craft and years under their belts to hone that craft. I also suggest doing some writer workshops online or at conferences. There are many workshops that pertain to individual genres. Each author has to learn what genre they are best suited for, or if they plan to cover multiple ones, but they still need to build what they know and hone their expertise. No author, again my opinion, is perfect. It’s always a profession where an author will learn new things, understand new view points and how to take their writing to the highest level imaginable. One that will probably exceed anything they ever dreamed of before. Start with a synopsis of what your story looks like in your mind, how you see every aspect progresses, every conflict and resolution, and the little (yet big) things in between all of that. Lay it out on paper or on screen how you see your characters, what makes them tick and all their traits that you see in your mind. While I’ve flown by the seat of my pants a time or two (which means I’m a pantser), there are times as well when I am a planner who outlines and writes out the synopsis first, then writes. It works both ways for me, depends on the story, but as I learn and discover new things about my writing and my creativity, outlining has been working best in the last year. Every writer has to figure out what works best for them. And it’s okay if your process changes with every book you write, as you grow into a better writer.
Writing has to come from within the writer. The drive and determination to be successful sometimes takes a back seat to the need and passion to put those words on paper. Stoke that passion, build on it and CREATE! There is nothing better (for me as a reader) to feel an author’s love of writing from their words and the world they built. As new authors, it is important to really sink your teeth into the kind of writer you want to be, what the story needs and pushing the characters to the very limits within their story. As I told my cousin, it sometimes takes more than one story/manuscript to realize the full potential of one’s mind and their passion for writing. The author must always push themselves to be better, do better and be the best they can be. It is what drives me 9 times out of 10, and authors are their own biggest critics and nemesis. Sorry for sounding like I’m recruiting for the Army, I am not LOL, but the same logic applies … no one wants to do anything that isn’t their very best.
So while new authors are searching for an agent, the biggest editor and that “big 6” publisher, just sit down and write a story or two – sometimes multiple times until you’re satisfied it can be seen by others – and learn your craft. Learn what it takes to go into writing a full and complete story. From world building, to character depth/development to researching the minute and sometimes substantial details in your story, to even adding a title to your book, they are crucial. Each of those aspects is facets in and of themselves that have to be worked on in any and all stories. I could go on for pages and pages to cover each and every single one, but those might be posts for future posts.
And new authors need to read as much as possible. Don’t just read the genre you think you’ll write in, at least not all the time, but branch out and read authors / genres you never though you would. But read the best books out there by the best authors. Learn from the best, that’s something you can’t really go wrong with. It’s rare that an author reaches instant success overnight, and everyone has their own idea of what success is.
And with whatever your definition is of success, remember … success really simply is never giving up, never saying I quit, never throwing in the towel. I was a new author once many years ago, and though I set it aside to deal with a personal loss in my life, I am glad I finally picked up that pen again. There are days that you’ll want to throw it all out the window and yell I can’t but those are the days to take a breather then open the story the next day and remember what it is that you love about your it and why you love writing.
Until next week. Happy writing!