I’ve been wanting to write a blog post like this for a while, offering some advice to new authors. Because it’s hard to write a book. Fiction or non-fiction, YA or Adult, it’s a daunting task to enthrall a reader with little more than the written word, especially with the tremendous capability of other mediums of entertainment like blockbuster movies.
So here’s a couple of tips that I’ve learned from my own experiences and from hearing the plights of other authors:
Don’t start writing prematurely. This may not be something you’ve heard before, but I think this is a problem for many new authors. Of all the woes I’ve heard from authors, writer’s block is the biggest one. Authors constantly bemoan the fact that they don’t know what to write in the next chapter or paragraph.
My advice? Finish the story in your head before you put it on paper. Before I ever wrote the opening sentence in any of my His Name Was Zach books, I knew what the story was. I spent several weeks imagining it in my head, thinking of what could happen. Only then did I finally begin to actually write, and I think that helped tremendously. Sure, I hit a snag here and there, but I’ve yet to face any major writer’s block where I feel as though I’ve hit a wall.
Start with the end. To piggyback on my first point, and hearkening back to an earlier post, try formulating the end of your story before you try to write the rest of it. After all, as the old navigator’s maxim goes: if you don’t know your destination, how will you ever know how to get there?
Write first, edit later. If you’re anything like me, you demand perfection from your work. You may sit there and read the paragraph you just wrote and try to fix a word here or phrasing there.
Listen to Michael Jordan. Stop trying to edit as you go. Finish the story first, get it all down on paper, and then you can go pack and begin to polish your work!
What do you think of my advice? Anything you’d like to add? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And as always, thank you for reading!