My Hubby is the one who challenged me to go after my secret writing dream and to write my first book. I took up the challenge, but I’ve got to tell you it was scary as heck. When I started I had no idea how to write a book. I had expectations that many new writers have—I thought that I would only write when I was inspired, and that the story in my head would come out just as smoothly on the pages. It was a shock to realize neither of these things were true! It took me only a half hour of writing to realize—I sucked! And I had no idea how to create a story with characters that moved around in scenes.
But I’ve always been very stubborn and I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, so instead of running for the hills, I rolled up my sleeves and I got to work. The first thing I did was go to yahoo and type in WRITING TIPS. I spent a month reading about and trying every writing tip I came across. And slowly by trial and error, I found a small group of tips that seemed to really work for me.
Here are some tips that I use:
- Forget about outlining. Sit down in front of a blank page and just start typing.
- Find what writing point of view is your natural writing point of view. Do you naturally write He and She (third person) or I (first person) when you write?
- Try for a weekly page count. Set a goal of so many pages to write every week and try to make that goal no matter what.
- Fast draft—pound out a fast, rough draft. Don’t worry about punctuation. Turn off the editor inside you. Just get the story out. Then go back later to edit and polish.
- To write more natural dialogue forget about writing the whole scene. Just jot down one line after another of the conversation between two people. Don’t worry about putting in any punctuation. Just get the conversation down. Then go in later and add the scene around it.
- Don’t worry about trying to write out the scene perfectly. Go back into a scene a few times and layer in things. Go in and write the conversation first. Then go back and add the action around the characters speaking. Go back in again and add some internal dialogue for your characters–things they are thinking to themselves as the scene is taking place.
- Write out the background for your characters. What was there childhood like? What is their favorite TV show? Their favorite ice cream?
- If you get to a scene and you have no idea how to write it, skip to a scene you have a clear vision for.
- If you get writers block, jump to another side story. Work on the side story until you get an idea or unstuck and you can jump back to your main story.
- The middle is quicksand. Be stubborn and force your way through it no matter what!
- No matter what get the story done. Your whole goal is to get to those words—THE END.
Those are the tips that worked for me. There were a lot more tips I came across that were great tips, but they didn’t work well with my process. That’s what I’ve learned, that every writer has their own process, and what works for one writer won’t necessary work for another. When learning how to write your first book the most important thing is learning what kind of writer you are. What things work for you? The only way to figure that out is to try a bunch of writing tips. See what tips work best for you. Start to gather the things that work and use them in your work, and before you know it, you actually have you very own writing process.