This week we have author Robin Gianna talking about Five Important Things Every Fiction Writer Must Do.
Her latest release, The Prince and the Midwife. There are giveaways!
Robin Gianna on the web:
Five Important Things Every Fiction Writer Must Do:
Okay, I can hear some of you saying, “MUST do? There are no rules. Every writer has his or her own process. Don’t tell me what to do!”
And I agree :-) But I’m going to pass along things I’ve learned in my journey to become a competent fiction writer (and let me say, that was quite a long journey, and I’m still on that path!). As with any other ‘rules’ these are really suggestions. Strong suggestions. Suggestions I hope you’ll seriously consider for your own writing life, because I want you to be happy and successful and that can be a very hard place to find.
1. Understand that your first attempts at fiction writing probably won’t be all that great.
I will confess that when I first decided I wanted to write fiction, I truly (embarrassingly!) thought I could crank out a book and sell it. After all, I’d loved the written word forever, I’d read a lot in my life, and I had a bachelors degree in journalism. I knew how to write, right? Wrong. At least, not fiction. For me, it was a steep learning curve that I’m still traversing. After all, one can’t learn a foreign language in six months, or become proficient on a musical instrument in a year. Why should we expect writing a novel to be any different? Give yourself time to learn and grow, and accept—embrace!—that reality.
2. Don’t pressure yourself into knowing for certain what you want to write, and let yourself explore.
You may be a lucky soul who knows exactly what feels right to you, A mystery reader may want to write only mysteries, and that’s a wonderful thing. I knew I wanted to write romance. But what kind? Contemporary? Category contemporary? Historical? Romantic suspense? To be honest, it took me time to find a niche I enjoy, but also am still thinking about other things I want to write. At the same time, I caution you against scattering your energies to the wind when you’re first writing. Focus can be a good thing. I suggest you choose one genre/sub-genre, learn about it, write it, then move on when you’re ready. Otherwise, your efforts might be distilled so much you’ll never figure out the various places you belong.
3. Read, Learn, Study, Repeat
Stephen King has wisely said “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” I agree. Reading is an incredibly important part of studying the craft of writing, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction that you want to write. Start with one genre or sub-genre, and study it. Read everything you can get your hands on. Study the work of authors you love, and think about why you loved it. Make notes about books you didn’t like so much, and why. To me, this is the number one way to learn the craft and how to make your own stories better.
4. Finish the book
Writing scenes and chapters can be fun. And you will definitely learn things from that. But you will never learn as much from five or ten or twenty partially written manuscripts as you will from a book that you finish. Believe me, I speak from experience! Like many aspiring writers, when I was first learning I’d get all excited about a story and feel great about the first chapters. Then something would happen—either I got stuck and didn’t know where to go after the initial love for my new work, or life would get it the way and I’d set it aside. Then, month’s later, it would feel like climbing a mountain to get back into the book. Who are these characters, again? What were their goals and weaknesses and strengths, and what the heck did they want in the story? I wouldn’t remember very well, and eventually it was always far easier to start a new story than wrestle that one to the ground.
Don’t get me wrong—any writing is good, and a great learning experience, whether it’s one chapter or ten. But the first time I finally finished a 95,000 word novel was a revelation for me. At that moment, I knew I had acquired light years of knowledge that my previous years of writing only partial manuscripts had never given me. And I also knew I’d reached a place many writers never get to—a finished manuscript. Or at least one where I had been proud to type ‘The End.’ You owe it to yourself to get there, and knowing that revision awaits you is part of the joy. It is, I promise. :-)
5. Understand that revision is your opportunity to take a piece of rough gold and polish it until it shines.
I encourage you to keep at your story without second-guessing yourself too much, and falling into the trap of revising every chapter you write before moving on to the next. I know that is a strategy that works for some writers, but it also can be a distraction that will never allow you to reach ‘The End’ which, as I said before, is so important. Let yourself make mistakes. Be sloppy. Make notes where you need to go back and do research. Keep going, and after you get to the end, allow yourself to bask in the glow of that wonderful accomplishment. Set the book aside for a while. A few weeks is optimal. You’ll be able to read through it with a more impartial, critical eye. Work at the revision. Give yourself plenty of time to enrich the story. But don’t expect perfection, because there is no such thing, and at some point you must send it off to the world and know that it’s good enough. And then you can truly say, “I’m proud of this book.” And you should be. :-)
His Cinderella midwife
Gabriella Cain prides herself on the exemplary service she provides to her celebrity moms-to-be. So she certainly doesn't appreciate Dr. Rafael Moreno suddenly taking over her department…even if he isroyalty—and gorgeous!
But distrust soon turns to secrets shared as irresistible Rafe proves dangerously easy to fall for. With a painful past behind her, can Gabriella dare hope for a fairy-tale ending with her prince?
One Kindle Copy Giveaway of The Prince and the Midwife to one commenter!
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