That’s right, my first milestone reached. And I have all of you to thank for it.
I had a friend ask what my blog was about, and I ended up saying “writing, mostly.” That’s my real passion. Sure, I’ve got vocations, hobbies, and other interesting experiential acquaintances, but writing has been my passion since I first put pen to paper for Juniper Crescent. Two novels later, I finally feel like I’m beginning to grasp the first brick in the foundation that is novel writing and publication in the modern era.
So, to celebrate, I’ve gotten together fifty of the things I’ve learned from writing, writers that I admire, and the mistakes I’ve made in my progress to become published.
1. The opening line has to not only grab our attention, it needs to throttle us into reading 2. Characters must be both believable and unbelievable 3. Write about what impassions you 4. Your first drafts will suck, but that’s okay 5. Get your story on paper. The crappiest first draft is better than the perfected dream 6. Be careful with adjectives. It’s the salt and pepper in your story, not the meat or potatoes 7. Same thing with the word ‘was’ 8. Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm 9. Write to all of the senses, not just sight 10. Be careful of your similes and metaphors 11. Avoid clichés. Please in the name of everything sacred, avoid clichés 12. Ignore your first thoughts. If they are your first thoughts, then they are probably everyone else’s 13. Treat all of your characters like they are the protagonist of a story 14. Nobody’s perfect, not even your characters 15. Save editing for once the story’s written 16. Carry a notebook with you AT ALL TIMES 17. Listen to the stories people tell you, and how they tell them 18. Read, then read some more 19. Develop your writing rituals and stick to them 20. Map and outline your story, however works for you 21. Be willing to break away from your outline. It’s not set in stone 22. Make mistakes 23. Try new things and don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable 24. Ignore what other people think 25. Write what you want to write 26. Don’t forget to take a break 27. Laugh a lot 28. Never be redundant, or redundant 29. Free write 30. keep a journal. 31. When in doubt, try and kill a character 32. Read your work out loud 33. Play 34. Let someone else read it 35. Write kindly, but edit harshly 36. Drink water 37. Read some more 38. Don’t forget character quirks 39. Daydream 40. Write! RIght now! 41. Research everything you can, keep learning 42. Learn new words 43. Take a nap 44. Be careful with slang and colloquial 45. Push the plot forward, don’t linger 46. Plow through writer’s block 47. Love what you’re doing. If you don’t love it, it may be time to try something new 48. Use your voice 49. Practice precedes perfection
And 50, All rules are guidelines, break as needed.