Saturday, April 23, 2011

10 More Tips

I promised to have 10 more tips and although they are a little late . . . here they are.

1. Write - You should write at least 30 minutes a day. Do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal. If you don't write everyday, you will never finish. Writing a novel is a great accomplishment even if you only sell a few books. Only someone who's written a book realizes the time and effort put in to the project.

2. Don't Edit - Now, before you go crazy - I mean - don't edit until you finish. I can't say it enough - finish your book. Many writers will write a few pages then go back every time they write and change and change and change things. Don't do that. Finish the book. Believe me, the editing process is long and extensive.

3. Read - Many great authors are avid readers. When I finished my first book, I started to read and view books in a different light. I noticed scenes, dialogue, plot, and chapter structure. Read books from authors you want to be like. Think about their writing styles, word usage, and word choice. Why do you like their books? What makes them different or stand out?

4. Save Your Files  - a few months back when I finished my book, I saved my copy on a USB memory stick. Unfortunately, my file became corrupted and I lost the file. Luckily for me, I continually saved my files in different places so I was able to go back and find the most current file but I lost about a months worth of work.

5. Write What You Know - I'm a teacher, a mom, a wife, and a writer. My array of subjects should be based on my experiences. I should not (nor would I ever) write about decorating or gardening. My skills on those subjects are atrocious and I have NO business writing about a subject in which I have no interest or skill.

6. Start Promoting - I know you think it's crazy to start promoting before you finish the book but you really do have to get your name out there and some kind of following. I'm still working on that and I've already written some books. Start a blog, promote yourself, get your name out there.

7. Write Where You're Comfortable - I have to write when my kids and husband are asleep. I find comfort with a warm cup of coffee, my laptop, and my characters. I've read that some people rent a hotel room, or go to their beach house, or close themselves off in a room in their house. I don't have the luxury of a beach house so I have to settle for my living room. Luckily, I'm a night owl.

8. Website - Get a website and get your name and your book out there. Offer advice or something else. If you're writing a book on gardening, offer seasonal tips or the best places to get plants. Anything you can do to get people to your site the better.

9. Brainstorm - My editor and I have had a few dinners in which we hash out all the details and ideas. It's great to have someone who knows the story line and where you're going with the book. It's a way to get a second opinion and get some great ideas that you'd never think about without going over it.

10. Join Writer's Groups - Get to know other authors. Networking and asking questions will help you in the long run. I've had several authors call me to pick my brain and I've gladly picked right back. Shelfari, Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter are all great tools to start your networking.

Let me know if you have any more tips. I'm sure the readers would find them interesting and insightful.

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