I’ve read a lot of writing tips over the years some of them great and others, well…downright odd. So, as we rocket through the last bit of 2021, I thought I’d share some of my favourite writing tips to inspire you to write that novel in 2022.
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1. Plot or Plan? It’s up to you.
It really is! Some people (like me) love planning a novel before they start while others prefer to sit down with a general idea and see where the story takes them. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it and you’ll only know what you prefer by trying.
If you’ve never written before, why not make having a go at each a goal for 2022?
2. You might not start your story in the right place, but it doesn’t matter.
Even after I’ve finished a first draft I sometimes have to go back and re-write the beginning. Often, it’ll change again when my editor gets involved too. I’m not saying don’t make it the best it can be and give it some real thought, but don’t get hung up on it. Not many people start their story in the right place and sometimes you don’t know where the right place is until the end of process!
3. First drafts are always crap.
Believe me, no one ever wrote a perfect story the first time they tried. That book you just read…that will have been through several rounds of self-edits by the author and then with an editor before it gets published. The author didn’t write it perfectly first time.
The first draft is just word vomit. It’s you getting to grips with the idea in your head and figuring out what needs to be in the story and what can be left out.
Try not to be too hard on yourself and just work on getting the words down. After that you can figure out what stays and what goes.
4. Editing can be fun.
Don’t get me wrong, editing it is hard work, but there’s something nice about taking a step back and changing and polishing your novel.
Start with the big picture: are all the right scenes in the book and in the right order? Then once you’ve got it structurally sound, go through again and make sure there’s lots of setting, atmosphere, and character arcs. After that you can think about line edits and word choice.
It’s actually a brilliant process and you’ll be so proud of the results once you’ve been through it.
5. It might not be easy, but it sure will be worth it.
Whether you self-publish, query an agent or submit to a publisher, or simply sit and look at it, you’ll be so proud when you write ‘The End’. You’ll have achieved something so many people inspire to do but never actually finish. Whatever happens to your novel, you’ve done it! You’ve written a whole book! And that’s something to be proud of.
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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash