Welcome to the seventh out of eight courses on your journey to writing a book. I think we’ve covered most of the skills you need and this post is dedicated to some important tips and advice.
1.Practice makes perfect
Practice makes perfect. Give yourself a target every day, for example, write one page of your story every three hours. The more you write, the better you’ll become and when you finish your book, not only will it be awesome, but you will also have brilliant writing skills. Practice a lot, whenever you can. Tell stories to people, type on word, keep a small notepad with you and write down random ideas. This all helps, trust me and soon you’ll be perfect 👌
Find a place of inspiration to work in. It could be in your garden, under the shade of a tree, sitting at a desk by the window, or even being surrounded by dozens of ideas you have stuck up on your wall.
Another way to get inspired is to read more. Non fiction and fiction, study the different techniques that authors use in their writing and compare them. Reading different books is not only inspiring and entertaining, but it also broadens your vocabulary.
Even if you haven’t finished writing your book, take out a small extract of it and post it on your blog, WhatsApp or ask a family member to read it. You can even give us an extract in the comments section and be sure to get honest feedback! Don’t be upset if the feedback is bad, learn from those mistakes and make it better instead. Even if you receive great feedback, you should still be thinking on how to make that better.
Write a chapter or a page of your novel and then wait two days without touching it. In that two days, research some vivid descriptions of things and read, read, read non fiction or fiction. Pick up the newspaper, magazines, read posters and note down how they allure people to buy their products using words. Two days later, open up the page or chapter you had written and rewrite it, swapping old words for new ones and making it better. Notice anything different? Using the knowledge you had gained researching and reading, you are upgrading your book to a higher level. Good technique, huh?
5. Understanding your characters
To write about the characters in your story, you have to understand them. Create a backstory for them and a fact file. It really helps you to write about your character and allow your readers to know them better.
- Keep writing enjoyable, write about things that you like and use your own techniques. Reward yourself as well to make writing more enjoyable.
- Don’t make your book boring. Look at the last lesson, MAKING IT TASTIER to see how to captivate your reader throughout the book.
- Don’t include everything! Even out all of your ideas between different chapters or books. Don’t use it all in one go, the reader will lose interest in the rest of the book!
- Never give up your love for story writing. Know that it’s bound to have ups and downs, good and bad feedback but the book that comes out successful is written by the writer who doesn’t give up!
- Don’t use fancy words in the middle of nowhere
- Writing can be lonely. Join Penable’s writing group which opens on Monday 13th of April 2020 where you can chat with fellow writers, ask questions and share your work!
- Take creative breaks. Have a go at painting, drawing, sketching or read a book. Don’t spend to much time on your book and be sure to escape your writing corner for fresh air at least every half an hour.
- Read books similar to yours, now compare differences and make yours better
- Practice your writing skills by creating short stories, publish them in magazines and get popular. This is a good way to get honest feedback and will motivate you to write more.
- Don’t alienate your readers by using expert language they don’t understand.
7 Questions to ask yourself about your book:
- Why is this book important to you?
- What is the message you are trying to share?
- Why does the world need your message?
- What parts of your experiences are valuable to other people?
- Are you an expert in something?
- Are you trying to dominate a specific market or niche?
- Is the topic something that simply fascinates you?
Writing advice from authors:
- “IN THE PLANNING STAGE OF A BOOK, DON’T PLAN THE ENDING. IT HAS TO BE EARNED BY ALL THAT WILL GO BEFORE IT.” –ROSE TREMAIN
- “ALWAYS CARRY A NOTEBOOK. AND I MEAN ALWAYS. THE SHORT-TERM MEMORY ONLY RETAINS INFORMATION FOR THREE MINUTES; UNLESS IT IS COMMITTED TO PAPER YOU CAN LOSE AN IDEA FOR EVER.” –WILL SELF
- “YOU CAN’T WAIT FOR INSPIRATION, YOU HAVE TO GO AFTER IT WITH A CLUB.” –JACK LONDON
- “FORGET THE BOOKS YOU WANT TO WRITE. THINK ONLY OF THE BOOK YOU ARE WRITING.” – HENRY MILLER
- “EVERY SENTENCE MUST DO ONE OF TWO THINGS — REVEAL CHARACTER OR ADVANCE THE ACTION.” –KURT VONNEGUT
Some Penable inspiration for you:
If you wait for perfection, you could never write a word
Sometimes only the blank page will listen to you
The pen is the tongue of the mind, never stop writing
Let the ideas flow onto the paper as quickly as the rivers writing on stones
Always believe that your writing will take you somewhere magical
Some last advice:
- Avoid writing prologues. They can be annoying at times and they cause the reader to lose interest quickly.
- Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.
- Don’t worry about the title of your book, it can cause loads of stress, if you haven’t got one already, just keep writing and it will come to you.
- A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn’t spin a bit of magic, it’s missing something
- Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
- Write now, edit later
Now is the end of this course, do tell me how you found it, if the advice was good and if the tips helped!
Homework: Give one piece of advice for anyone who wants to write a book in the comments below.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please share this course and I’ll see you tomorrow for our last course, THE ADVENTURE ENDS.
Until then, stay safe and send in that homework!!