I’ve read that, when you get to Act III of writing your novel, you are not supposed to add any new information. But I’ve also read that it’s ok to break the rules of writing if it’s done well. So, do you add new information after Act III or not? I say, if it works use it. Then again, before you use it, run it by some beta readers (those who critique your work before you publish it) and get their feedback first. After all, you don’t want to push your reader fans away by disappointing them.
That moment before you start. Your mind is filled with so many thoughts. How do I begin? I know what I want to say; but how to write it in such a way that hooks the reader? Will what you write be good? Will it hook the reader? Will it inspire them? Will my beginning be as good as the beginning of my last book/story? What if I “sink”? What if it “takes off”? Yes, I can do this.
It’s all so thrilling isn’t it? You may have written many books/stories before and still have these questions going through your mind before you start. You want to make your readers happy, and you want them to have fun. Not to sound pessimistic, but we can’t please everyone. Many will enjoy your stories/books and many won’t. So, relax. Have fun. Don’t stress yourself out. The truth of it is, you have what I call “Your Circle”. These are the people who you trust to give you an honest critique of your writing before you publish your work. If your beginning, middle or end or anything in between doesn’t sound right, they will tell you. Listen to what they’re saying, take it into consideration, and go from there. If you’re new to the writing craft, your self-confidence may need to be built up more. If you are more experienced, you may have more confidence and so on.
Trust yourself. Based on your writing experiences you will come to know what is good and what needs to be scrapped. So…..DIVE IN. Enjoy.
Sometimes we’re asked to write a review of a book. At first you smile and agree to do it. You’re excited to finish it so you can write it, so you set out reading. You read it cover to cover and loved it. You loved it so much you couldn’t put it down. However, there were some parts you felt could have been improved upon. So you jump onto Amazon or some other book venue to leave your review. Once at the appropriate page to write your review, the cursor blinks back at you in rapid succession. Your brain goes blank. What do you write?
For starters, whenever you are critiquing someone’s writing, it’s best to start out with the positives first. What did you like about the book? What worked really well? What was your favorite part and why?
After you finish the positives, you get into the negative aspects of the writing. Now, when I say negatives, I DON’T mean rip it apart with nasty, rude comments. That won’t get anywhere with anyone and it isn’t mature or professional. A better way of putting this is BE HELPFUL. Tell the author what it needs more of. What did you not like about the book and why? Point out a few places in the text that didn’t quite work and why.
Lastly, sum up your critique with a conclusion. This doesn’t have to be lengthy. A few quick sentences that reiterates your overall impression, is fine.
What do you bring to your writing? This question has an answer, but it might not be known to us right away. It’s something we may need to think about. I believe it’s subconscious, and on that level something goes into our writing that we aren’t aware of. I call this our unique inner signature…. a writing signature.
Now you might call this style. And you’re right. It is our style. It’s a writing style DNA. About a year and a half ago, I took a class called Keys to Effective Editing. In this class the instructor discussed how, when you’re editing someone else’s work, you have to be careful not to alter the meaning/style of the author. In other words, don’t make it your own. In a nutshell, when you are editing someone else’s writing, edit with great care.
As a beginning writer, you might not know your style, or uniqueness, yet. It’s something that you grow into. The word flow might not be there yet. Not to worry, it will come with time and practice. Something you could try is to write down what makes you, you. Spoiler alert, this may take some thought on your part. We are good at critiquing others, but when it comes to ourselves, it isn’t as easy. To save time, ask someone else what makes you unique. Ask someone to critique your writing style. This is how I learned more about myself as a writer because it allowed me to reflect on their words, then look at my writing, and then grow from there. You can too.