Posted in Writing

Don’t Rush

Writing, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, is more than the act of writing itself. It is a process and it all takes time. Rushing through from the beginning to the end will only get you no where very fast. This is not a post about the writing process; although, that is come up in a future post. No. This post is about taking your time with it. Let’s dig in.

I understand the urgency to get the finished product in front of people. Trust me when I say, readers know when a writer/author sped through their writing. How, you might ask? The writing itself will be bad. There will be misspellings, awkward sentences, punctuation in places there doesn’t need to be any and vice versa, plot holes, and/or the format is all wrong. The list goes on and on. I’m not talking about a few errors, because we all make mistakes. I’m talking about many. You might say that a piece of writing like this needed a good editor. That is correct. However, here again, the time was not taken to even edit the piece. Editing takes time, too. Trust me. I’m not talking about a couple of days or a week. Instead, I’m talking about months. Then beta readers have to read it first before putting it out to the public. The beta readers, or test readers, will give you viable feedback in regards to what is and isn’t working with your story or book.

Once you get feedback from your beta readers, look at their recommendations one at a time, and fix them if you agree with their assessment. Remember, it’s your writing, so it is up to you as the writer to do with your piece as you see fit.

Here is a list that should give you a picture of the length of time it takes to write a book…..

  • Planning- How you plan your story is up to you.
  • Draft one- Depending on the length of your story (book length) it can take 1 to 3 years for draft one. My second novel is over 500 pages and took me three years to finish the first draft. But remember, we are all different, and life gets in the way.
  • Draft two- No, you are not starting over from the beginning. What you are doing at this stage is taking your first draft and working with it from the beginning to the end. What you will be doing is tweaking your story, characters, structure, looking for plot holes, etc.
  • Draft three- Repeat draft two process. Yes, there might be things you will miss.
  • Do you need a fourth draft and beyond? That is up to you.
  • Self editing- You will want to edit your story/manuscript first before you send it to an editor.
  • Editing- Get a good editor. Shop around. Don’t hire the first one that comes along unless they come with good references.

As you can see, writing a book is not a quick process. Take great care with what you are writing. You want to please your readers not make them shut the book before it begins.

Posted in Writing

Writing Growth

Your growth as a writer is important. After all, the better you get, the better your story/poem will be. When that happens, your reader response goes up. You also want to please others with your writing and getting better at it will accomplish that. Below are some ways to advance your writing skilks:

  • Write Everyday: You might not feel like writing everyday, but if you write something…anything for just 5 to 10 minutes, it’s still something. Oftentimes, that 5 to 10 minutes turns out to be longer without you realizing it. What writing everyday is doing is getting you into a habit. Great! That’s what you want.
  • Use Writing Prompts: These are particularly useful when you don’t know what to write about. Plus, if you don’t feel like writing, it’s a great way to get you writing something. Keep in mind, 1 prompt can be used for a number of different stories/poems. The internet is full of writing promt list. Just type that into Google Search
  • Get Feedback: I know, no one likes to be told they need improvement. We all enjoy hearing how good we are. BUT…hearing how you can improve will raise you to that next level.
  • Read from the Best: Read works from some of the best authors you enjoy reading. Do not copy them, but learn from their stylistic choices. Then use what you learn to improve YOUR style.
  • Take Classes/Courses: Talk about beneficial. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions and sharpen your skills as a writer in a more in depth manner.
  • Read Books about Writing: There are so many books out there on the subject of writing. Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, you can find books on the different aspects that go into each. From story structure to learning how to incorporate emotions into your characters. These books will help you. Some of them even have exercises so you can practice.

Have fun with your writing growth journey. I promise you it will be a great adventure in and of itself.

Posted in Fiction

Real Life with a Twist

Photo by Pixabay on

You are up in the mountains hiking with a friend. Along your path you come across a lone pint size milk carton. You’re a fiction writer, and you’re looking for ideas for another story but coming up with zilch. The hike in the mountains you feel will do you some good and perhaps get the wheels of creativity going. The milk carton accomplishes this goal as soon as you see it. It’s as if an electric spark shocked that story center of the right side of your brain. In an instant, your mind has a ‘What if scenario in place.

What if the milk carton had drops of blood on it, and the blood belonged to someone who vanished without a trace 50 years ago? The blood is fairly fresh too.

In reality, the milk carton is just a milk carton and it most likely belonged to another hiker. They finished the milk and didn’t want to take the carton with them, so they left it there. BOOM. That’s it. BUT, what you did with yourwhat ifscenario is put a twist on reality. That’s what fiction does. I love to put a creative spin on things. It makes life interesting.