Writers need to learn the craft of writing. No matter how good we were at writing essays at school, no matter how well we entertain our friends with stories, no matter how many of the classics we’ve read, we still need to practise and learn. Key advice from all the experts:
- Write every day
- Read a lot, including books that are not in your comfort zone or favourite genre
- Keep an ideas notebook
And more specific advice...
- Lose the adjectives
- Make the verbs stronger
- Learn how to use punctuation
- Know whose point of view you’re in and don’t head hop
- Plot--know how, and when, to include a hook, trigger, first plot point, crisis, climax, 3 acts, rising action and downtime
- Action--use it to move the plot forward
- Backstory--know where, and how much, to include
- Dialogue--limit the beats, and use ‘he said’ rather than ‘he muttered, shouted, whined, or asserted.'
- Show don’t tell
Over the past year, I’ve been sitting down every day to write, and feel more confident and organised. So, am I capable of applying it all? I'm sure I could take another run through punctuation at the very least, but how much more is there?
How do you know when you’ve grasped enough to start sending out queries?