Today begins another exciting month of WRITING for those participating in NaNoWriMo! I was lucky enough to be talked into participating again this year by some lovely people. While I’ve tried to scowl at these people over the week, I’m actually quite excited. I participated last year and even though I didn’t win — I petered out at about 43,000 words, unsure of where the story should go — I look forward to another (stressful) month of writing.
However! I have higher hopes for this year because I will have the motivation of friends. If you want to add me as a friend, visit my NaNo page at: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/kristilyn
Some book bloggers are participating, too! You can visit their pages below:
Amanda @ On a Book Bender
Shirley @ Creative Deeds
Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books
Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
Hannah @ Once Upon a Time
Anne @ Creativity’s Corner
Christa @ Christa’s Hooked On Books
Jac @ For Love and Books
Jenn @ Owl Read It
Sarah @ Breaking the Binding
Are you a book blogger who’s participating this year? If you are, add me as a writing buddy! We can cheer each other on!
To get everyone in the writing mood, I thought I’d compile some of the writing advice that has come by the blog in the past year. I’ve had a few authors do Q&A’s and writing advice is one of my questions! So, without further adieu, here is writing advice from writers themselves:
One: Write on a regular schedule. It shouldn’t be a chore, but it’s a skill like any other and it takes practice to get good.
Two: Surround yourself with people who support your writing dreams.
Three: Keep in mind that external validation (getting published, getting praise) can only take you so far. You have to love the process itself, savor it every day. That’s what keeps real writers coming back.
Write. Don’t just think about writing. WRITE. And don’t expect perfection of yourself. That’s what the drafting/revision process is for. Getting the initial words written is the most vital step. Write what’s on your heart.
Write, write, write, and find good beta readers that aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings. For every unflattering critique I’ve received, I’ve grown as an author.
Just write. The amount of people who actually finish writing a novel is quite small. Writing is the trick to becoming a writer. I have talked to so many people who tell me they want to be a writer, but have yet to write a single word.
Never ever take no for an answer. If you have the dream to share the stories in your head, put pen to paper and do it. Life is about learning as you go. So is writing. Edit, re-edit and edit again. Can I say edit one more time?
The internet is your friend. If you want a career as an author, then do your homework. There are many, many blogs and articles on the business, how to edit and market and everything else. It’s not just about the writing. Of course the first thing.. FINISH THE BOOK!
Definitely. Write. Write every single day. And commit to finishing things. Start small if you need to. Finish a poem. Finish a short story. Finish a novella. But finish. I know so many people who have 30% of six books done. You. Need. To. Finish. Once you hit ‘the end,’ get a critique partner or a few. People you trust, people who love you and writing and reading. Listen to them!! Take their advice, even when it makes you want to cry. Go with your gut when it really matters, but try to be mostly open about taking risks. And just write more. I write every single day. Every day! And I plan to keep doing it for a long time to come.
To keep writing! It sounds clichéd and too simple to be effective, but that’s really all you need. Reading is very important, yes, but so is spending quality time writing. Storytelling is essentially a skill, as is writing in general, and I believe it’s how we choose what story to tell that reflects “talent.” Eventually, you’ll figure out how you want to write and what kind of stories you want to tell, but for an aspiring writer, it’ essential to never get discouraged. All that’s important is that you keep on writing!
And a little tip if you want to write fiction: it helps to be empathetic. Sensitivity is of paramount importance to an artist, but so is empathy. If you cannot sincerely relate to another human being’s sorrow, joy, success or disappointment, then you can never successfully capture any real emotion on paper.
And for some MOAR advice (because we can’t have enough of it!), here are some links:
- A video by author Robyn Schneider (beware the suck dragons!)
- Some tips from Retreat by Random House (do you have a designated writing spot?)
- Goodreads has a NaNoWriMo forum, in case you want to connect with other writers.
- Here are PLENTY of tools and apps for writers. The list is DAUNTING.
- Robin LaFevers, author of Grave Mercy, talks about characters, setting the foundation for your story, how to grow your plot from character, and writing to trends.
- Author Tony Romano talks about the steps of writing a novel.
- Authors Joelle Anthony and Rabindranath Maharaj debate the differences of writing in solitude and writing in a coffee shop.
AND, if you’re looking for some inspiration from one of the top writers, I really recommend reading On Writing, by Stephen King. It’s a WONDERFUL read and full of tips and inspiration!
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What kind of advice can YOU give to aspiring writers and all the participants this year?
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