So Far, What Did I Learn?

Above all, that writing is a process and you should always try to follow that process.

Beside that, you should follow a routine. So if you say you’re going to upload at x time on x day, do it. Or the readers will come knocking. Trust me. I’ve gotten the you’re uploading too slow and then, you’re going too fast. Either way, get a routine and stick to it. Granted, I am guessing  that this takes time, energy and effort. (My current aim is at least two a week) although I have other things lagging, and greatly admire those of you who can manage doing at least three post a week.

Anyhow, I realize that this is how you get better incrementally. If you allow yourself to follow the process. I have a habit of sometimes shifting from one thing to another, but when it comes time to focus I try to buckle down and do the work.

Gather honest feedback. Likes are good, sometimes I try to figure out if one of the pieces is better written than another because it has gotten more views. And although I cannot always tell, I’ve learned from (one of the 10 Advice for Writers by) Neil Gaiman to listen to people (key: more than one) when they tell you that something’s wrong. But don’t believe them when they tell you what that thing is (because they will most likely be wrong).

Sometimes the work surprises you. I have this habit of trying to think things through beforehand, but like I mentioned earlier, the more other things changed in the start, the more that I know my other ending would hold up – so I had to let the piece take me where it was going. A better way might have been knowing your ending and letting the other things strengthen that. Or to unify what I had already done before. But either way, surprises can sometimes be good, leading you somewhere you didn’t expect to go.

Looking back, I can see that I’ve managed to pick up a couple of things, like some of those that I’ve posted about here. Aim for clarity, using action, description and dialogue to get more substance into your fiction and finally not burying your lead.

So until Friday! Happy Posting, Reading and Writing! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for new sights and sounds.

Methods for Writing: Clarity, Emotion, Models & Pacing

Step one for good writing would be to aim for clarity. Make sure that whatever you write down on paper or type out is exactly what you want to say. The descriptions should not be confusing to your readers and can be followed by a high schooler, or whomever you envision your ideal reader to be.

Next, tap into the novels that speak to you. Ones that you admire. Works that have a sense of clarity and possess some of the elements that you are trying to achieve. What you are doing here is getting a model (or models) so that you can enlarge your vision, and see your work as a completed piece. By doing this, you may also get an insight into how to continue, if your work has halted.

One of the faults of beginning writers, myself included, is that we are not always able to see our work in its entirety, when we first begin. But plugging in and plunging on through the various drafts and detours, we may be able to get a better idea of our work. And seeing how someone else may have done it, can help us to see the novel as a whole and then as a thing with parts. Because being able to shift from one to the other, may help us to gain clarity and focus.

This is important because sometimes the idea of the novel itself may frighten us. But if we see it as a thing with parts- chapters. Scenes. Then little by little we can think about how to give it shape and structure.  Yes, if we persist by writing and reading the works of other writer, we may be able to finish what we start.

To do this effectively, however, we may also need to consider adding some emotion to our characters. Especially the main character, the one person who the reader should be rooting for. They should be human. Real. So their emotions need to be appropriate for the scenes that they are in. Think of it like a movie, where you need to create believable characters to enhance the story. If they don’t appear genuine then your characters will not be seen as real. Or your story viewed as believable.

To do this more effectively, I have tried reading novels by authors who have rich characters. Some of which are listed here: Brandon Sanderson’s The Emperor’s Soul, Veronica Roth’s Divergent and David Levithan’s Every Day. Besides this I have also perused the Emotion Thesaurus and read a few novels more closely to get a better understanding of character development. You can experiment with the various mediums and use whichever ones are helpful.

Finally, remember to take your time and pace yourself. Break down the story into chapters; and the chapters into scenes. Make it more manageable to write. Because  according to Steven Pressfield (in his novel The War of Art) one of the biggest things plaguing writers is resistance. It is something that we should all avoid. So, make sure that you are always working. Or moving forward.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year, and continue writing!