Friday, January 24, 2014

10 TIPS TO BECOMING A BETTER WRITER by Linell Jepsen @nelj8

Practice, Practice, Practice! I know- that sounds simplistic, but it is true. There are born storytellers out there… I am one of them. That does not mean, however, that I knew how to write the stories down that teemed around in my head, when I first started writing! That takes practice.

This is for those people out there who don’t have a master’s degree in English Lit, okay? There are a hundred pitfalls to overcome in order to become a “good” writer. First, you need a good story! You can write the most perfect novel in existence; perfect grammar, spelling, outlining, perfect characterizations, POV’s and tensing- and still produce a lousy, boring book if it has no soul- that magical spark that makes your story unforgettable!

Still, your beautiful, thrilling, heart-wrenching story will soon be forgotten (or, worse yet, put down unfinished) if you do not endeavor to write clean copy. A good writer, in my opinion, has an excellent editor, and a host of Beta readers. An excellent writer also has a VERY thick skin! A good Beta is one who respects your story and your voice in the telling of it. They will not try to intrude upon your vision, or your plotline, but will be generous with their ideas- if you ask!

Sometimes, a really, good Beta reader is the person who spots repetitive words, or phrases. (Recently, my sister-in-law spotted the number four- five places in the opening pages of my latest project. Who knew? I must have been feeling “FOURISH” the day I wrote that! LOL!) They will tell you, gently, that you are telling the story out of order, or that they started yawning at the halfway mark.

A great Beta or editor will Never, Ever scoff at you, disparage your words, or disrespect you in any way. They will not try to impose their will upon you, or interject their voice into your work.

We all need to learn about writing great stories- and how great stories are structured. We need to learn the best Point of Views, the correct tense for our chosen POV, and a working knowledge of good grammar. One of my bug-a-boos is comma placement! Ugh! I have been at this for years now, and I still use far too many commas, and use them in the wrong places! (I’m probably doing it right now!)

In short, good writing takes time and practice. Some of my favorite authors started out a little rough, and improved their craft over time. So must we all!

Onio revised (2)

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Genre – Fantasy/Romance

Rating – PG13

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