Just write. You learn by doing. Crafting sentences and scenes and characters and worlds becomes easier the more you do it.
Understand the type of fiction writer you are. If you are not that fond of planning ahead, that's OK. If you need to plot every little thing in every chapter, that's OK. If you're in between, that's OK. If you are comfortable with how you write, it will be easier to do so.
Use timeline software. I write my stories, then go back and add everything to a timeline as part of my editing process. I've caught mistakes in dates doing this and can fix them before they become a problem.
If you're stuck writing, answer a prompt question. These questions can be serious or silly or informative. Prompts like, "Where's the coolest coffee house in your setting," or "What does the color blue mean to your cultures" or "What's the most terrifying carnival ride at the nearby theme park" may never make it into your story, but focusing on them can get you thinking about your tale, your characters, your world, in a different way--and perhaps break through that writing block.
Write down all names and places and a brief description of them. There's nothing so frustrating as trying to remember the name of a bit character that suddenly became more important, searching through the chapters trying to remember where you mentioned them, realizing where you thought you wrote them is not so, and re-reading half your book to rediscover them.
Focus on putting your first draft to paper without considering whether it will look good to a potential reader. Consider it a skeleton that will need flesh and blood later.
Never, never submit the first draft, or even the second, to anyone! Clothe that body first - no one needs to know that your writing body was once naked.
For good "spontaneous" writing, edit over and over again until your wording becomes crisp and you generate the emotion you desire to portray.
Check your paragraphs to see whether you have duplicated words. These generally jar a reader.
Find new, more intense, satisfying words for those that have become stale in your vocabulary.
I am very new to this, but I will tell you things that have helped immensely. I got invited to an author convention as a reader. I met over 50 authors. I had no intention at the time of writing. I joined many groups in that genre and interacted. I became friends with several and when I wrote a book; they were so helpful with everything from writing to self publishing.
Take a notebook everywhere, you never know when an idea might come into your head and you need to write it down. Keep notes of characters and date timelines, if it's a longer piece of writing or a novel, your head isn't always the best filing cabinet. Try and write everyday, set a time that is 'yours', do not be interrupted. Take a break everyday, even a short walk can clear the cobwebs and sometimes give you the part of the story you were missing. Don't let rejections get you down, there's an acceptance just around the corner.
Your 'story' is unique to you-if you use your own 'voice'. Do not ask relatives and friends to read your draft but use professional Editors. You need to think -long and hard about advice from your professional editor. Believe me- it can be painful sometimes but you know they are experts in their field. Do not be argumentative- learn from your mistakes.
Intellect over emotions or the other way around?! - Fiction vs Nonfiction. Imagination vs reality.
1. When the inspiration comes in your mind, you will know it. Considered that, you are well armed with the ability. Grab that opportunity and write everything down.
2. It's said that "ability is nothing without opportunity". But I strongly believe that, opportunity is useless without having the ability in the first place! Motivate and work on yourself daily.
3. Accept corrections at the very beginning of your writings. Examine everything before publishing. Ask for help from a relative, if you are a self-published author. Or, get an editor to read through your works before going public. Accept to be ashamed by one individual than by millions out there!
4. 'Continuous reading is the price that each author must pay' - Read daily, if you have time. But remember to leave some time off to reflect upon what you just read. Thus, increasing your creativity in the long-term.
5. Remember, promotion is the toughest part. This is the time when you are on your own (if you're a self-published author). Become more adventurous to see and grab the opportunities that are presented before you. Master timing. Try and explore different tastes. Mix with authors as well as readers.
Thank you for reading and have a great day!
1. Do not refer to your manuscript as your "shitty first draft." Give it a nickname that suits your genre or your main character so you feel good about it... a 'scrappy rough draft' is a book that will fight to get finished but a 'shitty first draft' is one that asks to be flushed away.
2. When your negative inner critic tells you you're not a writer, thank it for its opinion, then ask it to leave you alone for an hour so you can work on becoming a better writer.
3. Find other writers to be in community with. This is critical. (I love www.creativeacademyforwriters.com - it's free to join).
4. If you want to succeed as a career author, treat your writing like a business with dedicated time every day to write, to do marketing, and to learn something new about the author biz.
5. Celebrate small wins. Writing a book takes a long time and you need to appreciate and acknowledge the milestones.
1. Write what whatever story is yearning to burst out of your soul, regardless of whether it fits into a popular genre.
2. Get rid of all negative energy that is in your creative space (i.e. people and things that bring you down).
3. Don't get it right, get it written.
4. Don't fall in love with characters or a plot that doesn't work. Be flexible enough to make changes when necessary.
5. Don't rush. Write for the long haul. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
1: Advertise. This means free, and often, paid ads. Work within your budget. Amazon Ads can get out of hand, be sure to stay on top of it. Facebook ads are hit or miss. Think outside of the box. Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are all great if you are familiar with those formats. Try to run ads when you can.
2: Talk about your book. Be enthusiastic about it. Talk it up at signings, book clubs, restaurants. Wherever you get the chance. Part two of this is: know WHEN to talk about it. Throwing the book into an unwanted conversation never goes well. Know your audience, interject when appropriate.
3: Your cover, blurb, book description, etc can always evolve. Change often if it isn't working. Tweak your blurb, see what the public thinks. Adjust the book description. Find out what people don't like about the book cover and try to fix it. You may have a fondness for the cover, but everyone else may not. You're trying to sell a book to THEM, not YOU.
4: Local Bookstores should never be dismissed! Just because they're not the big time Barnes and Noble does not mean they can't equally sell dozens of your books a month! There is no guarantee that having a book at B&N equals billions of sales. It'll likely get lost among the trillions of books they stock. A small store likely will develop a personal relationship with you and help promote your book. Always promote that your books are carried in their stores on social media. They appreciate it.
5: Calm down. Just because you're not getting a sixteen movie deal with Netflix does not mean your books aren't moving. Selling a book a month is a big step. Selling one a week is excellent. Selling one a day is amazing! Baby steps. Don't sink a ton of money into anything, do not follow rabbit holes of false promises of vanity publishers guaranteeing you sales. Nobody can truly make good on that statement. If it happens, it happens.
6: Just be smart, calm, and positive out there. It's not so much its own step, but a means of getting through just about everything in life. Be calm and think things through. Ask for help. Patience is a virtue! Good luck out there!