Five Tips for the Budding Novelist
By D.W. Richards
By no means a veteran author, I am reluctant to characterize my pointers as advice. Suggestions, from someone who is a little further along, might be a better label.
One: Does writing hold some intrinsic value for you or are you looking for external validation? The lynch pin to the journey you are considering is that you enjoy writing versus enjoy the idea of being a writer. Ensure that you are honest with yourself with regard to your motivation. If you don’t enjoy it, you will quickly learn to despise it.
Two: Does the idea of writing daily seem exciting? Particularly when starting out, working at your craft daily is essential. When I started on my first novel, I had just completed several years of accounting studies. My reading had been primarily relegated to text books and the focus of my writing had been on factual reporting. None of this honed my skill for writing pithy prose. I gave myself a guideline of writing 250 words daily or sitting there for two hours and trying to write 250 words. The mix of words and time worked well for me as there were circumstances when I would actually pare down the count to attain tighter and more effective passages.
Three: Does disciplining your inspiration seem realistic? In the early days of my writing, I had a lot of difficulty translating the scenes in my head to paper in an entertaining manner. The process was one of write-and-rewrite. As my skills improved, I found myself intermittently struck by inspiration for word choice and phrasing. These jolts of revelation would hit me without warning and seemed like foreign, but welcome, intruders. Eventually, the fits-and-starts smoothed out and coalesced with my conscious mind. My thought process now switches over to author mode only when I’m prepared to write.
Four: Do you have stories that you want to tell? I might be alone in this opinion, but I feel that for a long-term career in writing that you should not chase the market. For example, as of writing this post, mermaids are a popular subgenre within fantasy. If you enjoy writing fantasy but mermaids aren’t your fancy, don’t write about mermaids. All trends pass. Your lack of interest will suffuse your work.
Five: What is your favourite medium for enjoying stories? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cinema and plays and streaming services but a good book will impress me like no other medium. A well written passage will inspire me to create. Though I dabble in script writing, books are my first love.
For my bonus tip, if you do nothing else, ensure that you read more than you write.
Along with this advice, he also has an exciting giveaway slated for next month!
His novella, “Alexandra Forever: Beginnings”, is slated for release spring 2020 through Solstice Publishing.