Several years ago a couple of friends kindly read a novel I was working on and said it was great. But when I tried to get it published, I simply couldn’t. — Susan K Perry Ph.D.
I’ve always loved to write. I’ve been writing since forever, although not so regularly these days. When I got something special for my birthday, I’d write down how happy and ecstatic I was when I received it. When I was scolded for not doing my homework or forgetting to make my bed in the morning, I’d put my sad thoughts into words. I continued to do so until my high school and college years, where my poetry and stories were appreciated, but my hunger to learn on how to be a great writer has never been filled. So, I continued to search for answers and here’s what I got – some wonderful tips from my favorite teachers, authors and a few useful snippets from the web. One is writing from the heart, telling your life story, such as this story which drew thousands of responses.
From My Favorite Teachers
I used to wonder why my literature teacher would say that I was a good writer, but I could do better if I read more. Then, I realized he was right. I read a lot of thriller and love stories and I practically urged myself to try the classic novels. I saw the difference in the writing styles and I think I learned better to pick a suitable style for a corresponding niche that I was writing on.
One high school teacher, whom I loved very much for her fun and carefree attitude, also once said that my stories were a little disorganized, jumping from the introduction to the climax, then, back to describing the characters, so on and so forth. Learning how to picture what I want to write before even beginning to write was beneficial. First, choose a niche, then, the flow of the story. Imagine how you want your story to start and how it ends.
From My Favorite Authors
I just love J.K. Rowling (don’t you?)! I love everything about her – her books and the story of her life. She was asked to give a few tips on how to be a better writer, and she revealed that one thing she often did was rewriting – several times. It was how she made her introductions very detailed, real and believable. She wrote the first paragraphs of the Philosopher’s Stone fifteen times. Another advice she gave was to be passionate about what you are writing on. Only then will you be able to get your story through the person who is reading.
Stephen King, another amazing writer whose books have become blockbuster movies, advises the amateur writer to always write primarily for their own satisfaction. He says, “I did it for the pure joy of the thing. If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.” Such powerful words from such a successful writer.
Victor Hugo, author of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ tells of his rather odd way of being able to finish his book successfully. He wore nothing but a shawl around his body so he wouldn’t be tempted to go outside of his house. That’s how he focused and concentrated on his writing. I guess I’m not telling you to do what he did, but it is clear that you will need to stay in a place where you are able to put your full attention into writing.
Write the word “manifesto” in the middle of a blank page and let your mind wander. When an idea pops into your head write it in a circle around that central word. — Nicole S. Urdang, MS, NCC, DHM
Snippets From the Web
There are online communities and groups that have a love and passion for writing and are eager to share their thoughts about it with you. Do your research and perhaps share what you’ve learned, too.
Majority of the sites that I’ve visited had one common recommendation for both the aspiring and seasoned writer. Before anything, read the Elements of Style, no matter what the edition.
To end, here’s something that has never left my mind since I read it: Write drunk. Edit sober. Only from one of the greatest writers ever – Ernest Hemingway.