Writing Tips For Budding Writers
Please keep in mind, while this writing advice for budding writers has been successful for the people I have coached, I do not offer any guarantees. I merely hope it might help stoke the fire burning within and get you started on a writing journey.
So you’ve decided on your genre. You’re going to be a writer of ….! Good for you. There are still a few things I recommend you do before thinking of bursting into print.
Read, read and read some more. I am assuming you are already well read in this chosen genre. Now it is time to be a little more clinical in your approach to reading. Try to read as a critic, an analyst. Look for what makes a story buzz, or alternatively decide why a particular passage just doesn’t cut it for you. Analyze what works and what doesn’t work and why. Perhaps you’ll want to do this as a re-read as it does tend to take some of the enjoyment away from reading. But seeing a book through writing eyes, rather than reading ones, recognising mistakes and seeing alternative ways a writer could have improved a story will increase your understanding of the written word. I’m not talking about the possible typing or grammar mistakes but story detail which doesn’t resonate. Read a variety of writers, not just the best sellers. In my experience some best selling writers become blase in their writing when they no longer have to struggle to be published. Be careful with independently/self published books. Editing and plot continuity (with obvious mistakes including typos) are sometimes less strictly controlled I’ve discovered. I’m not suggesting this with all self-published books, but I have read many that didn’t match my expectations.
Analyzing stories with a highlighter is a great way to determine quality writing. Grab that pen and highlight passages which take your breath away. A different colour could be used for phrases or portions you didn’t like. It’s then fun, and beneficial to go over the highlighting and decide why you’ve chosen to colour a passage. What had the writer done? Was it a certain turn of phrase? Were there a number of rhetorical devices* used? Was it snappy dialogue*? Or any number of other things.
The more research you do into other successful writers of your chosen genre, the better equipped you will be to write yourself.
* Rhetorical devices – “use of words in a certain way to convey meaning or to persuade” – there are many types, metaphor and simile being common. Googling the term will give you some examples of these and others.
*Dialogue – words spoken between characters