Monday, April 15, 2013

Advice from Authors!!

I had this idea a couple of week's ago to start a advice post. I'm thinking of doing this maybe like once a month or even more.
I wanted to start this so that people would get advice on how to write a book, keep on track, etc. So I came up with a question to ask authors.

Question: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out with their writing?

I chose this question mostly for the fact that I'm in the beginning stages of a book and I've been looking around asking different people for advice on what I should and shouldn't do.  And I thought to myself, 'I can't be the only one who needs help.' So here it is my advice as well as those from other authors!

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Tina Hammond: Just keep writing, don't keep working on what you've already written-- move forward. And for goodness sakes, set goals (realistic ones).
Kate Marie Robbins: Don't worry about how perfect your first draft is, just write. You can always fix it up later. It's more important to get your ideas down on paper.
Genevieve Scholl: One word: Try
Steve Coffin: Treat writing like Post it notes. Write, arrange, Cut and paste.

Peggy L Henderson: Get yourself a good critique partner and be open to what she tells you, even if you don't want to hear it, and it means major rethinking/rewriting of your masterpiece.
Linda Castillo: Write one word at a time even when you don't feel like it and you think that every word you put down is crap. More often than not, it isn't as bad as you think.
Belle Whittington: Write your story and don't stop to edit. Just put it down and go forward, keeping the momentum of your story. Edit only after you've finished, otherwise, you might lose your voice. Read across the genres, for you never know from whence your inspiration will come.
Jared Rice: Always stay true to YOUR story. After all, it's no one else's. Don't spend too much time editing it. You can have a friend do that.
Connie Vazquez-Keenan: Write what you yourself would love to read & write, even if it's a little bit, every single day.

Nicolas Wilson: Agreed with Connie. It takes a long time to get comfortable writing, and if you only write when the inspiration hits, you won't get enough experience to develop your full abilities. What's the facebook graphic going around? Artists become artists because they have good taste, and their early work disappoints them because they have good enough taste to know that their technical skills lag behind their aesthetics? I don't know. Saw it once, several months back, and it seemed accurate, but I had no reason to save it.
Brina Courtney: Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. Nothing is more important than meeting your daily word count.
Abhishek Vipul Thakkar: Read a lot, Write a lot, observe a lot, think a lot about writing, stay committed to your dreams, persist, be patient, focus on characterizations, improve the plot line, in poetry- no rhyme is not necessary, article writing - let it be simple and lucid, let your writing be only YOU. You learn by imitating but you should form your own originality in the process.
Emily Goodwin: Remember the simple advice: don’t give up. Everyone started out as new. You can only go up from here :)
Heaven Lyanne: Set a daily goal, weather it be 100 words or 1,000 word. I did this and it's kept me on track so much! I also created an author page in which I can post my daily word count and found a couple people that will push me the days I forget. And also write what ever pops into your head. You thought of it for a reason. Later on you can edit and maybe create a different document for all the things you cut out of the original so if you want it later on you'll have it.                     

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If anyone would like to ask a question that you will like authors to answer for you please leave a comment below and I'll add it to my list!

**Other new's: For those of you who are writing ANYTHING, I've created a group where we plan when to have this writing game. The rule for the game is to write as much as you can in an hour! You must post what your word count is before and after each game. Right now its more of just a fun little game but once we get more people to join I was thinking of creating a tournament! And yes there will be a prize!
So if your interested in this go to our group and join in!

 Writers Writings WIP's!!
Emily Goodwin's full advice:
I’ve been asked by many aspiring and new authors to share how I got my start. Often some of the best advice given is the simplest advice. I got my start by deciding I wanted to write a book. And then I wrote it. Simple, right?
Maybe. There were many things I learned along the way—many from making mistakes—that I feel that by sharing can help others along their journey. The very first thing that you need to do is to write your book. Know that writing a book is a huge task. Finishing it is an even bigger accomplishment. If you get to the end of your book, you should feel so proud of what you accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back and don’t hesitate to brag to your family and friends a little. Pretty much everyone is gonna thing it’s really freaking cool that you wrote and finished a book.
Since finishing that manuscript can be such a daunting task, figuring out your writing style and what works and what doesn’t work for you can be a huge help. Personally, I like to have a general outline when I write. It may be as basic as knowing that Mary needs to meet Jane in chapter three so when Matt is introduced in chapter five, the plot will already be set (or something like that) or it can be very intricately planned, such as chapter by chapter details. Knowing that this should happen before that happens helps me stay on task and keeps me from deviating from the plot line with little sub-stories and random tangents (that sometimes turn into the characters rescuing abandoned animals…) that take away from the main story line.
I am a very easily distracted person, so setting limits and goals was very helpful to keep me focused. I have a 1,000 word minimum goal on days that I work (I’m a nurse) and a 3,000 minimum on my ‘writing days’. When I’m tempted to get on Facebook or Pinterest, I set a limit for myself, like fifteen minutes then back to writing or I won’t go on the internet until I’ve written 500 good words.  This works for me, so find what works
for you. I also make sure to give myself off days where if I write three words, great. If I write 5,000, even better. And if I write nothing that day, it’s ok too. If you force yourself to write when you’re just not feeling it, you probably won’t be happy with what you just wrote.
Finally, once you’ve figured out the style/pace that is best, be realistic. If you can’t get 1,000 words a day, then be happy with what you can get. Don’t pressure yourself; forced writing is easy to spot. If you need a few days off from your work, then please take them! Step away from your novel, read something else, play The Sims 3 (my guilty pleasure) or watch some shows.
Now that your novel is done, step away. Don’t open it, don’t read it, don’t even look at it! Give yourself a mental break from your characters and then go back. Keep an open mind. Yes, this is your story, your baby, your pride and glory…but it will need some revising. Read through it, fix what you think should be fixed, and then find a good team of beta readers to give you honest, critical (and sometimes a little harsh) feedback. This is the time to catch the inconsistencies, confusing scenes, slow parts in your plots, and to know whether or not your world/character development is up to par.
I will admit that the first beta read through is the hardest. You just freaking wrote a book! You want the whole world to love it and tell you how great it is because you certainly think so. You may feel the need to justify everything your betas pointed out and wag your finger in their face with a ‘how dare you say that about my book!’ sort of attitude, but don’t! Sometimes it is easy to forget that in your mind, everything about your novel makes perfect sense. You love your characters because you created them. To you, the story is seamless, which is why it is so important to let others tell you what needs to be improved. Take their advice into consideration, but do not feel like you have to change every single little thing every beta pointed out.

I like to have a dozen or so betas go through my books and really rip it apart. I find the harsher they are, the better and more helpful their advice is. I want to know what is bad about the book because this is my chance to change it. They are here to help you, so be thankful that they took the time to go through your book with a fine toothed comb. After all of that is done, I highly suggest you hire an editor. No matter how many times you go through your own work, you cannot catch the mistakes because you know what is should be saying.

And most of all don’t let anything discourage you! Join a writers group. Email an established author for personalized advice or even ask if they would mentor you. Find other new writers just like you and support and encourage each other. Remember the simple advice: don’t give up. Everyone started out as new. You can only go up from here :)

Thank for all the advice Emily Goodwin & Everyone else!!  

~Heaven Lyanne 

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