Writing Tips

So it is November and a ton of people are doing NaNoWriMo so I wanted to put together some tips that I use to keep up writing. Remember that to be a writer you need to write every day, not just in November so these tips apply year round.

1. End in the Middle of a Scene

I like to end in the middle of something happening. Tonight I ended with the captain of a ship in the belly of her ship, about to show someone a tour of the ship. Not super exciting, but I know exactly where to start. I don’t have to stop and think I can jump right into the scene. Ending on a solid note like ‘They went to sleep.’ always makes me struggle because then my brain goes in a thousand directions of what could happen next. If I end with, “And then the ship crashed into the rock and Dannica crashed into the engine.” I have a much better idea of where to go.  

 

2. Read!

Good writers, read. You need to know what is out there, who the other writers are, what publishers you like, etc. Nothing inspires me to write more than a great (or awful) reading. Right now I read for 15 minutes a day. It’s not a lot but it’s more than I’ve been reading. Every bit helps!

 

3. Talk to Other Writers

Writing is often a lonely job, slaving away for hours at a desk hoping that one day someone will read what you’re working so hard on. Connect with other writers, give yourself a support group. Celebrate with one another, and mourn with one another. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. all count!

 4. Revise!

When it comes to revise a work, be brutal. Be totally honest. Even if you think it’s the most beautiful paragraph you’ve ever written do you need it? Does it matter what the fountain or gate looks like? Every word should drive the story forward, if something’s not doing that, it needs to go.

5. Love what you are doing

Writers don’t write to become famous or rich. Write because that is what you love doing, what you want to do no matter what. Not everyone gets to be a Stephen King or Neil Gaiman, but love what you are doing. If you don’t love what you are writing it will show.

What are your writing tips/tricks? I also have a special candle I light before I write. It’s a habit now.

How’s NaNoWrimo going? I broke 8,000 words tonight, yay!

 

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6 Comments »

  1. Hi there,you have a very cool looking blog, and I just wanted to leave you a comment. So anyway, I just wanted to see if you would visit my blog. And if you follow me, I will follow you… :)Jesse

  2. Amie Kaufman Said:

    All fantastic advice! I never tried ending in the middle of a scene until recently and it's really been helpful. Just knowing where to start insetad of having to think about it really makes a difference. Absolutely agree with #3, too — having a writing community around you is vital.

  3. Draven Ames Said:

    Very good tips. Thank you for the great advice again. My favorite is reading, but it has been hard to concentrate. Whenever I read, my mind wanders to my characters, still in limbo land of writing. That makes it hard sometimes. Also, number 3. We have met some great writers here.Twitter, facebook, blogging. There are a lot of good people. You happen to be one.Draven Ames

  4. These are fabulous tips, all of them. I think it was Hemingway who advised writers to stop writing in the middle of a scene–advice I find REALLY helpful. It can be awfully hard, though, especially when you want to get that satisfaction of finishing a scene.Reading is something I have to remind myself to do, or I'll spend all my potential reading time writing instead. I've only recently realized how important it is. This is GREAT advice.

  5. Hi,these tips remind me of my English writing classes I took in college; Great advice!I have a Tag/Award for you on my blog, my friends send me these things and I think they are a lot of fun, hope you will want to participate….xooxoxoxoxo

  6. Judy Black Said:

    Thanks for the comments! Stopping in the middle of a scene, sometimes even the middle of a sentence really can help keep you writing. I find that helps me even more than all the outlines and plotting in the world. lately I've been cramming 15 minutes into my 30 minute lunch break and just devote it to reading. It's not a lot but it is helping oh so much. And for anyone who hasn't read it yet. Stephen King's On Writing is one of the most helpful books for writers to keep that fire lit about writing.


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