Since the completion of my first novel and work progressing on the second book, I’ve reflected on the writing process and what was learned and what advice I would share with someone starting the “Creative Writing Journey.” I’ve categorized my thoughts and tips under several headings with the focus only on writing – not publishing, branding, sales or marketing which are topics for other blogs or articles.
Establish a routine:
- Make writing a priority – develop a schedule for writing.
- Read as much as possible but don’t waste time reading what you don’t like.
- Research – read – write – edit – re-write. REPEAT.
Invest yourself personally:
- Write your passion – love the process – take it and yourself seriously.
- Learn the trade – attend seminars, join writers groups, subscribe to publications.
- Share with others to gain insight, acknowledgement and assistance.
- Be critical of your work – own up to your mistakes.
- Anticipate down time – and possibly absences from writing – don’t despair.
- Treat this as a business. The business of selling yourself (brand) and product.
- Understand the basics: A story has: A character (the who), that Wants a goal
- (The what), Is motivated (the why) But, faces an obstacle (the why not).
- Establish a working title – even if you change it later.
- Craft the opening statement and have an idea how you want to end the story.
- Develop compelling characters with depth and dimension.
- Break up narrative with properly placed and paced dialogue for reader interest.
- Allow characters to unfold their motivations through action and dialogue.
- Try not to confuse or bore the reader.
The mechanics of writing:
- Prepare for the multi-phase writing process. Draft one – put every random thought down on paper or in the computer. No organizing. No editing. Draft two – locate the best parts. Analyze the materials to see what fits together. Print out the manuscript and be prepared to cut. Draft three – improve the work. Keep only what is vital and essential to the story.
- Revisit the beginning once you reach the end – the story may have evolved so much during the writing process the opening line no longer fits the story.
- Seek good professional editing.
I welcome your comments or questions and am reachable at: Peggy@peggyhattendorf.com
Author – Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty & Travel Editor hers Magazine