As promised, our monthly 5 tips for writing. Below are some of the things we have learned or taken away from our experience this month as we work on our manuscript.
#1 Write more information about your characters than what the reader may ever see. Telling a good story doesn’t mean that you have to have every single detail about the characters within. But being able to write believable and fulfilling characters it is essential as a writer. Be sure that you have a full understanding of any of your characters. While it may not make it to the final cut, you’d be surprised how many times a little thing we know about our characters influenced their actions in the story.
#2 Be familiar with your intended genre but stay true to your story. In my earlier post about us being stuck in the mold, I had expressed our frustration with trying so hard not to follow things that have been done before. That principle can be applied to tropes in your genre as well. While you should be familiar with the good, bad and ugly of your intended genre don’t let it distract from you telling your story.
#3 Working on another story temporarily is okay. We all get writer’s block one way or another. While Jei and I have had our victories against it in the past, it can still rear its ugly head. During that time it’s okay to step away from your main project and focus on a different piece of flash fiction, short story or poetry. It keeps you writing but gives you a break from the pressure and exhaustion that can build up from attempting to finish a novel.
#4 Write your first draft to yourself. There is a lot of concern when it comes to conveying the story to your audience. I have found that getting so wrapped up in how it reads when I’m on the first draft actually hampers my creative flow. Because of this, I’d recommend that you write your first draft for yourself and worry about conveying the story to your audience when you go back to edit.
#5 Keep a notebook or note like program with you at all times. We have our ideas at the most inconvenient times sometimes. I cannot stress the importance of having some kind of medium to write on, record on or type on at any point and time. Don’t lose those thoughts because no matter how many times we say to ourselves “I’ll remember that later” we all know it never quite works out.
What kind of tips or tricks do you employ? Do you use any of the above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.