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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Practical Advice for Beginning Writers – RJ Blain @rj_blain

10:00 AM Posted by James Noel , , No comments

Writing a novel is a huge task, and it is kind of scary when you’ve never written one before. Is it really possible to write 50,000 words? 75,000 words? 100,000 words? Doubt and uncertainty plague fledgling writers, especially those who have never tried to write so much in a single piece before.

Take it one word at a time. If you can write a single word, you can write a novel. Take your first word, and then add another until you’ve written a sentence. Sentences are the fundamental building block of your novel.

If you can write a sentence, you can write a novel. After all, a novel is nothing more than a collection of words and sentences that tell a story. Worry about writing your story first. There’s a time and a place for writing a good story, and that happens after you have told the first version of the story.

Understand the Role of Editing

Editing is a trap many new writers fall into. Some writers edit the life out of their story without ever actually finishing their novel. Others don’t understand that they need to edit in order to turn a bad story into a good story, or a good story into a great story.

Editing has a role, and understanding how it plays in the writing process can really help relieve a lot of stress – and help get that project done.

For beginners, I want to stress how important editing is, in its time and place. That time and place is after you have experienced the joy of writing a novel and finishing the first draft. There may be the temptation to edit the life out of something you’re working on, but I really recommend you resist that temptation until after you’ve completed a novel.

There are a lot of doubts and uncertainties that plague beginners who have never finished a draft before. Worse still, for every unfinished draft that exists, it gets even harder to try to finish the next one.

Finish your draft first, then edit.

So, what role does editing serve? Editing serves a lot of purposes. It lets a writer better pace the novel. It lets a writer fix problems with character development, plot development, grammar, and spelling. There are lots of things a writer can fix through editing. They can’t, however, fix a novel that hasn’t been written yet.

Bad Habits to Avoid

Every writer approaches their novel(s) in a different fashion. Some write, edit, then write some more. Some write the worst drivel they can think of, and then fix it after they’re done vomiting words. Others spend years writing a novel one sentence at a time. However, there are a few habits that should be avoided.

Try not to…

  • … set conditions on when you write. If you only write when the stars align, it’ll take forever and a day to finish a project. Chances are, you’ll never finish a project, and that’s frustrating. This also applies to muses.
  • … write only what you view is politically correct. It’s okay to write about difficult subjects. Write what you want to write. Write what you love, and write about what you wish you could do. The possibilities are limitless.
  • … procrastinate. Procrastination is a certain way never to finish a novel.
  • … associate your value with the quality of your novel or how others perceive your novel. Your writing is not you.
  • … expect to write a masterpiece the first try.

Good Habits to Embrace

Like with bad habits, there are good habits you want to embrace. A few of them include:

  • Write whenever possible. If you’re writing every day, even if it is a sentence, you will finish your novel.
  • Challenge yourself to do better. Study grammar. Emulate authors you love. Love your craft.
  • Critique others. If you can spot problems in other people’s novels, you can start spotting those problems in your novel. That’ll help you fix them.
  • Write about things you love, not necessarily what you know.
  • Study people. It helps with characterization.
  • Read lots of things – fiction, non-fiction, whatever you enjoy reading. Just read. It helps when you go to write your own stories.

Most importantly, have fun. Writing is a lot of work, but it can be really enjoyable as well.

StormWithoutEnd

Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.

When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.

But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Fantasy

Rating – PG - 13

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