1. Write. No seriously, just write. You can't become an author without writing something.
2. Focus on getting your thoughts on the paper. You can tidy up afterwards.
3. Challenge yourself. Set word counts to push yourself to do more.
4. Get someone to proofread your book. You'll be supprised to see how many things you miss.
5. Hire an editor for your first books. It makes a huge difference.
1) Start with an elevator pitch to yourself. Is the story intriguing? Is there an interesting protagonist and challenge? Do you want to know more?
2) Commit to finishing the story. Once you begin a plot that drives you to write it, let nothing stop you from completing that last draft.
3) Don't show anyone your first draft. Whether it's to your editors or your beta readers, always put your best foot forward. Besides, they probably think you're a genius and most first drafts will dispel that notion.
4) Challenge yourself. Give yourself a word count and stick to it. Write in a genre you dislike, just to see if you can do it. The lessons you learn while doing this make you a stronger writer in the genre(s) you enjoy writing.
5) Never write to the trend. By the time you write your story and get it edited and published, the trend's already moved on. Instead, #bethetrend!
Always hire a professional editor and proofreader. Most new authors feel that with programs like Grammarly they can just edit their books themselves, which is a great tool to clean up an outline. But it is important to also hire a professional editor to really polish your book and make it the best it can be. Readers always know when a book wasn't edited properly and this can affect the type of reviews they give the book once it's published.
Write, what you want. The whole purpose of writing is that 10 writers can be given the same outline of a story and come up with completely different and fantastic tales. We don't need more folks writing to market. We need people creating and telling a story with their own unique voice. Sometimes those stories will fall "within market" sometimes on the "borderline" and sometimes totally "out of the grid".
All of this is great and needed. Don't let others (writers/editors/readers) control your story or your creative process. Listen, learn, adjust...but at the end write the story YOUR characters are telling you.
If you don't have talking voices in your head, leading you off your outline every once in a while...or even often, then your not doing it right! You can be a great writer, be 100% true to you and your characters and still make money (if that is your most important goal-who doesn't like money?)
I feel-a great story and some good marketing will always make you a winner, even if you don't follow the crowd. Stay YOUR course, do the WORK, and have fun! Also remember is a LONG race in the writing business.
What works for me to keep me organized while writing is to have a 5 section spiral notebook. I use the first section for my characters, writing everything I know about the character on each individual page, starting with my MC, and working through until each person has a page and key items about that character.
The second page is for my working outline. I'm a pantzer, but I write a rough outline as I do each scene.
The third section is used for a general timeline of the events in the story. Things I need to remember later on.
The fourth section has all the editing tips I need to check on after the story is in it's first draft.
That last section is for Misc.
I also use tabs on various pages within the sectioned notebook to easily find things like the villain's page, (The MC is on the first page), minor characters (they general are listed in order of appearance all on one or more pages), supporting characters (you know, those sidekicks).
Hope that helps some of you.
Market early-and this can be free Social Media, FB Groups, etc Also you can start playing with ADS. Start small and work your way up once you know what you are doing. I often do $1.00 day for 5, 10 15 days. AMS $1.00 a day netted me a profit in sales (minus what I paid for the sales) in my first year of advertising.
1) Write—review—write—etc. The more you read through each chapter—the more fine-tuned and believable your story will become.
2) Make sure to take a break from your writing—come back with a fresh mind—ideas. And, don’t be afraid to wing it instead of sticking to a rigid outline. When you do as such, the creative process cannot move your character or storyline forward with a fresh aspect or pace.
3) DO NOT be afraid of getting your couple together early-on instead of them chasing each other until the end. They can become a ‘couple’ and still have conflict—doubt—love—the gamut of emotion—tragedy—they just do it together. By doing so, you are giving your reader a more satisfying/authentic read—makes them get into your character’s mindset better—relatable in their own life—believable! (*<*)
4) The key is to write your dialogue as people speak—not always proper verbiage. Let if flow and make it sound realistic—as if they are in the room with you conversing/experiencing along with said character.
5) Another key issue is to close your chapters with an end-hook. In other words, give them something to speculate on—anticipate an outcome—wonder what will greet the character/reader in the next chapter. Therefore, they won’t want to put the book down.
6) Don’t box yourself into a corner by following every rule of writing as per the ‘pros’—impossible to so and have a juicy read, so bend the rules! Conforming has its place, but not always in writing.
a. It makes for a predictable read.
b. Keep the reader wondering about the mortality of some characters. Will they die? Will they survive? Be sure to throw in some unpredictable circumstances, characters on the fly, and outcome, so the reader can anticipate the unexpected.
c. Have at least one character that leaves one wondering if he/she are good, bad, indifferent, or just an unexpected blurb to throw off the delicate balance.
d. -DO NOT over explain your scenes in detail, or characters. Give the reader food for thought and let their mind fly with it. Chances are the majority of the time the reader gets a visual picture in their mind—not always as the author envisions.
7) Keep in mind that no matter where you are taking the story to its ultimate end, always choose wisely so whatever you do/say moves the story forward.
8) Watch out using excessive verbiage and overusing some words, such as---and---that---repetitive verbiage/scenarios.
9) Sorry, I gave more than ‘5’. Happy writing, and always … always enjoy the journey! Cheers, J (*<*)
1) Write. Keep writing no matter what. Writing is like a muscle. It has to be used to develop.
2) Your writing will change as you do. Your voice will evolve as you grow, so accept that your first book will be very different from your tenth or even twentieth.
3) Be open to suggestions. Reviews (good and bad), beta readers, editors, and fellow authors can all help you become a better writer. Some things may not be what you want to hear but listen. You may hate having to change something in your manuscript but try it and see what happens. You can write in a bubble, but you can't publish in one.
4) Write what you want to write, and don't follow the trends in genres. Writing something because you think you will capitalize on whatever the hottest genre is will turn out to be a mistake. What is hot today, could have turned cold by the time you publish, so write what you want to read. Chances are, you will find readers who want to read it, too.
5) NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!! The only person who will believe in you and your book IS YOU! Accept that there are days you will want to walk away, but always vow to keep going.
1) Read or listen to audios. It will help you fine tune your writing.
2) After you are done with your first draft, walk away, and then go back and read again. You will read with fresh eyes and you will have new ideas to make the story better.
3) Don't fret about 1 star reviews. Welcome to the author world. Bad reviews come with the profession.
4) Don't worry about the grammar when you write your first draft. Just keep writing. Fix that during the second round.
5) Remember you CAN'T please ALL your readers. So write to please yourself. YOU must love your story before anyone else can.
1) Never pay for reviews (this does not include review companies such as Netgalley, Hiddengems, OnlineBookClub, etc. which charge to list your books on their sites for their clients to voluntarily choose to review if they want.)
2) Look at the book covers of the top books in your genre. Does yours compete?
3) Don't do your book covers yourself unless you have experience in graphic art.
4) Get input from other authors on your blurbs. Some authors find them easy to do, while most do not. Avoid outlining the entire book--explain the first 1/3 of the book and use a question to make the reader guess what might happen in the last 2/3.
5) Do not harrass other authors to read/reveiw your book or do review swaps. Most authors do not have time for this and the popular authors are constantly being asked to review other authors' books.
7) There are over 1000 groups on Amazon that will let you promote your books in them. Do a search for your genre or "book promo" and you'll get tons of them popping up. Read each group's guidlines for posting so you don't get kicked out.
8) There are numerous groups on Facebook that are for authors only, to develop their craft and with tips on how to market. Join them.
9) Set a monthly budget.
10) Research the different book promotion sites and ask other authors about their experiences with them.
11) Don't put your book on sale shortly after a release because your sales are down. Readers get upset when they see a book that just came out, that they already bought, going on sale within the first three months of release.
12) Don't overprice or underprice your book.
(Yup, more than 5 but all needed to be said!)