Lauren’s Writing Tips

I’m no professional. I’m only me. 😀

In no particular order. How hard would that be? Randomly updated.

  1. No one, I mean no one, will love your book as much as you do. Don’t let that make you love it any less.
  2. Read your writing out loud. What may look good, doesn’t sound good. (See #12)
  3. Use better adjectives than good. You’re a writer, not a first grader.
  4. Contrary to the writing advice I usually see, don’t set word count goals. Doing this will produce word-crap. It’s not how much you say, but how how you say it. Which leads me to…
  5. If you only write one paragraph all day (or all week), that’s OK. You can’t force these things. You’ll either have a productive writing day, or you won’t. You’ll do better next time. Don’t sweat it.
  6. Adverbs are treated like yellow Starbursts; nobody wants them. But I think they have their place and can make sentences much better. Don’t overuse them though.
  7. Verbs are important. Don’t use pulled when you can use yanked.
  8. Don’t add details that don’t matter. If she’s drinking from an antique teacup, fine. But no one cares if it’s her grandmother’s best friend’s mailman’s cup. Unless, of course, the mailman is important. Use your best judgement.
  9. Just because you can see your leading man perfectly in your head, doesn’t mean he’s coming across that way on the page. I will admit, I still struggle with this. Imagery is vital, and don’t you forget it. (See #15)
  10. Create a Pinterest board with anything and everything related to your writing. Better yet, create one for every character you write. And go pin-crazy. Pin what they’d wear or eat. Pin their favorite bands and movies. Pin their hair style and shoes and accessories. Pin their favorite quotes. Make them real.
  11. If you can spare it, take some time away from your current project and write something new. Easier said than done, but fresh eyes can do wonders. Too bad I can’t accept this advice for myself.
  12. Make sure all your sentences don’t sound the same or have the same structure. Best way to check? Read them out loud! Better yet, have someone read it to you.
  13. Have an impartial party read your work. Your mom can be your beta reader, but I doubt she’s going to give it to you straight. You need someone to kick you off your pedestal and shed some realistic light on what you’ve written. Your story is not perfect, even though you think it is, and this person will tell you that.
  14. Do not feel pressured to make a change based on one reader’s opinion. Always remember, this is your story. This is your story. But if you’ve heard several times that Little Johnny would never tell Big Allen to do his calculus homework, perhaps it’s time to revise.
  15. Sometimes you see what you want to see. If you’ve been living with your characters for a long time, chances are, all the details you know about them aren’t on the page. Readers only read what you tell them, not what’s in your head.

 

More tips at a later date…

Last updated: 2/16/17

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