- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing
How to advice for writers
Author: W. K. Hayes
Advice on writing
As a writer, people ask about publishers, publishing and agents. Also, as a writer, I often have found myself asking the same questions. Writing is a passion and above all else, art. Personally, I refer to any writer as being a, ‘Word Bender’.
A Word Bender can take a handful of words and strategically place them in a manner that describes a scene in the least amount of words. However, there is a huge trick to this process. Although there are tons of words that apply to the description, many such words are not in common use and that can become a Bain to the writer.
Another problem with using shorter effort to describe a scene is that most writer’s simply don’t have the talent for it, no matter how hard they try. Still, anyone that can sit down, write a story and draw the reader’s mind into the world they have created is truly a, Word-Bender.
The world is full of writers and aspiring authors hoping to be seen, heard and felt. When you write, write from your heart and allow the reader to see you through your words. Why work so hard to write a book if none of your characters portray you. A reader should get to know the writer through the story.
Another suggestion for writers is to implore the use of this idea. When you are writing, think of your book as being a movie and you are the director. Your first job is to get the stage ready by setting the scene. Remember, that most rooms have lots of items you can describe but resist the urge. Stick to the items that your character will inadvertently, react with or make use out of. Ex: Mister Red grabbed the candlestick and bludgeoned Mister Green in the head, there in the den. You might even mention, the darkened painting that hung eerily above the stone fireplace in the den, was a menacing portrait of a stately man of older years and none too pleasurable to look upon.
As for the characters, think about each one with some serious consideration. Each character you create should have a very distinctive personality type. They should have their own psychological existence and exhibit certain behavior patterns, that provides them with believability.
When character interact with one another, their conversation should be intelligent and witty. Using big words often fails to work for any reader and lacks solid evidence of intelligence.
Allow your characters to speak in a manner that says something about them. If a female character has an over-bearing personality, make sure this is more than just a description. She should be very opinionated and extremely wry in nearly every casual scene. Her approach towards other characters should be somewhat arrogant, pushy and demanding.
Never start your book with a scene of sensuality. Instead, open the scene by drawing the reader’s attention to the circumstances of your main character. Most agents prefer a less direct approach towards romantic inclination even in romance novels. Your opening paragraphs should describe the current plight of your main character and their surroundings.
There is one thing that will make me drop a book, without giving it a second thought and that is a writer that is determined to bounce from one main character to another main character. Pick a main character and tell their story while keeping the camera on them at all times. Trying to establish a new set of characters every chapter has a tendency to throw the reader off track. One of the worst books I have ever read was one where, the story kept leaping through time while vaguely establishing each new time period and characters. Stay focused and your reader will too!
Ultimately, keep your focus in your book and believe in yourself as a writer. Trust me, you will endure hundreds of hindrances that will make writing your novel very tricky. Still, don’t give up. Writing a novel is time consuming work but when you finally get the novel done, it’s like baking the perfect cake.
Although, you will soon learn that writing a book is easier than getting one published. Millions of writers are trying to get their books published and that is a lot of stiff competition. Then, there's the red tape coming form the business aspect of writing. Be brave and read the contract carefully. Take notes and make sure you ask questions if you are not sure about certain items in the contract.
Some people are actually finding some small success in self-publishing. However, most agents won’t touch a self-published author. This is sad but true. Ultimately, it is your best bet to write weblogs so that the agent has a solid reference to your ability as a writer and this is also a great way to help you land writing jobs as a free-lance writer. Another great perk to writing weblogs is that this a great way to help support your writing endeavors, financially. Do not get me wrong, writing blogs will not make you rich and I have noticed that it usually takes around a hundred weblogs of great articles to produce a decent income but this is a residual income you can count on so long as the host company remains in business.
Thanks for taking the time to read my tips about writing and suggestions on ways of supporting your dream career of being a writer. I sincerely hope you take my advice but I will warn you, being a writer takes many hours of work with a broad knowledge of self-promotion. Be prepared to work hard or you won’t see your dream come true and the last thing you want to do is fail yourself. Thanks again and have a great day!
Update: march 2nd, 2011
After doing more research I have learned that many writers find their only outlet for becoming, published would be to self-publish. Many agents seem to be changing their opinion of the self-published as well. A self-published writer can build a proven record of accomplishment for attracting an agent and with having books available for agents; the agent can get a better feel for the writer's style and work. Some agents still refuse to work with a POD and self-published writer but from what I have learned, it really is up to the individual agent.