I wrote my first book when I was only 9 years old. It was a cliche story about a boy who found a dinosaur`s egg. It was really easy to write because I wasn`t thinking about a well-crafted and character-driven plot or unexpected turns of events. But I was really proud of myself, so I decided to keep moving.
At the age of 14, I was struggling with writing my second book. Why though? I was trying to create the most unique plot and the best well-written characters in history ( it didn't come up well, to be honest).
But worst of all; I didn`t know how to start, how to consider the main idea of the story and how to motivate myself to keep moving. I had no one to give me some tips or explain what I should do.
Writing a book is an extremely long and exhausting process. The fact is that there is no single, approved, error-free formula for a bestseller. And whoever says otherwise, is lying.
But there are some tips that I am going to share with you guys if you want to avoid my 14-year-old self`s mistakes. Here we go!
Set a realistic deadline
The main purpose of deadlines is to make our plans more precise and specific. Setting deadlines helps us manage our time wisely and get results exactly when it is needed.
I know that tapering yourself to rules is not the best idea, but putting things aside for an abstract future is simply wasting time. You need limitations, otherwise you will never realize your plans. Psychologically, it was easier for me to write, knowing that after a certain period of time I would be holding in hands the result of my efforts.
Write for yourself
When you write a story, you must write it first of all for yourself. If you yourself are not very intrigued by the story you have invented, others will not be interested in it even more. But if you yourself are interested in knowing what will happen next, on the next page, in the next chapter, then you certainly will not be alone in this.
It is very important to find your reader and convey your ideas to him, but you cannot expect that all your readers will always be happy with what you write.
Create a comfort character
Often, the hero really becomes that locomotive that pulls the entire composition of the plot, because the reader becomes interested in reading about the exact character. Most people associate themselves with the main character and, therefore, it is very important to create a character in which everyone can recognize oneself.
“The real truths come from human hearts. Don’t try to present your ideas to the reader. Instead, try to describe your characters as you see them. Take something from one person you know, something from another, and you yourself create a third person that people can look at and see something they understand. ~William Faulkner from an interview excerpted in The Daily Princetonian, 1958
Around this stage, if you have not been able to start mastering the technique of blind typing, it is an obligatory working tool for a novice author, for whom the ability to type quickly, without being distracted by such trifles as finding the letter "g" or a question mark, is an essential condition for successful work on a manuscript.
Specialized services help you learn to type with a minimum of errors. There are many similar services, and you should find them on Google and try different options.
Don’t dress up your vocabulary
Always remember that it is very important for the reader to fully immerse themselves in the story that the writer is presenting to them. And the use of complex words and phrases will complicate this process.
“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.” ~Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Read. Read. Always read
Stephen King advises you to constantly write and read in your free time from writing. This strategy has no drawbacks: books tell interesting stories, transfer them into the past, the future, or even other worlds, show a clear example of how to build a story, how to reveal characters and lead a plot.
“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad; see how they do it. When a carpenter learns his trade, he does so by observing.
Read! You’ll absorb it. Write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ~William Faulkner from a 1947 interview with The Western Review
Don't be afraid of your mistakes
People who are afraid of their faults prefer to act in order not to be mistaken, forgetting that most often doing nothing is a very serious mistake, leading to much more fatal consequences than when you act. You make a mistake, you correct a mistake, you act again and, in the end, you get the desired result.
“By the time I was fourteen (and shaving twice a week whether I needed to or not) the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” ~Stephen King
5 best writing tips from bestselling authors of all times
“When you're stuck, and sure you've written absolute garbage, force yourself to finish and THEN decide to fix or scrap it - or you will never know if you can.”
“Don’t make writing your work. Get another job so you’ll have money to buy the things you want in life. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you don’t count on money and a deadline for your writing. You’ll be able to find plenty of time for writing, no matter how much time your job takes. I’ve never met anyone who couldn’t find enough time to write what he wanted.”
"You have to actually write. Daydreaming about the book you’re going to write someday isn’t writing. It’s daydreaming. Open your word processor and start writing"
“Any word that doesn’t advance a story slows it down. Which is reason enough to avoid expletives. Contrary to popular misconception, the term ‘expletive’ refers to a whole class of empty words, not just gratuitous profanities. Most expletives simply fill out the syntax of sentences. The most common is ‘there are,’ ‘there is,’ ‘there was,’ ‘it is,’ ‘it was,’ and so on.”
“Looking back, I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”
Now it's about you, the writer, telling the story. Good luck!