Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seven Steps to Excellent Writing for the Beginning Author

Here is a simple concept that inspires everything I do: hard work is more important than talent. You can be ridiculously talented, but if you don’t work hard, it means little to nothing. However, if you have a driving passion and a determination to get better no matter how hard it is, you have a chance at accomplishing your dream.

If this dream involves writing, but you feel like you don’t have much talent, don’t let it bother you. If you diligently follow these seven steps, I guarantee that you’ll find the path to excellent writing. It might take years or even decades, but if you really want to write, nothing will stop you.

Step one. Write a novel (or series of short stories or articles or memoir or nonfiction book). Don’t worry about being right or wrong or clever or original or good. Just write it.

Step two. While you’re doing that, read a couple dozen books in your genre, and a couple dozen books in completely different genres. 

Step three. Read books about writing. I recommend Elements of Style by Strunk and White, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, Stein on Writing by Sol Stein, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King, and Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale.

Step four. When you finish your book, start identifying the weak points (ask a trusted friend to help) and revise.

Step five. Write another novel/short story/article collection/memoir/nonfiction book, or completely rewrite the one you already have. 

Step six. Revise, revise, revise. Try to publish your work. Get rejected. Revise some more and repeat.

Step seven. Repeat steps one through seven until your writing is excellent. And then keep on working. 

Nobody said this was easy— but after all, things worth doing rarely are.


No comments:

Post a Comment