7 Things You Need To Know to Make You a Better Writer -- Getting Summer Write! Contest Continues Below...
1. Always trust your OWN instincts. Critique partners are great sources for other sets of eyes and ears, but ultimately it's your story and your career. Always listen with an open mind - then go with your gut.
2. Put your work aside for a few days -- take a breather or start on something else. Then go back to read your story. Ask yourself and be brutal -- Would I Want to Read this Story? Then ask yourself Why or Why Not?
3. If you feel your "middle" is lagging, STOP! Write down 20 Things That Will Happen in the Story. They can be silly or serious - then draw a FEW ideas from those twenty and get back to writing your story. ie: Blow something up, burn something down, someone unexpected shows up, natural disaster, the circus comes to town, there's a murder, etc. Force yourself to put 20 things down on paper. Think about your characters and how your new ideas work in the story.
4. Try to let go of your internal editor. Go for broke. Make your story edgy. Be Brave. Be Daring. Be Bold. Then read the scenes you've written and pull back the reins a bit if you need to. It's far better than writing "safe". The most memorable stories are ones that fill the reader with a sense of surprise, wonder and shock.
5. Remember that Good Storytelling is a must. Beautiful prose fill the pages and if you can do both, great. But ultimately it's the story that wins out.
6. Remember to keep your "voice" constant. Too much voice can cloud the story just as much as too little voice kills the story. Keep your style fresh, open and honest. Don't mimic. Finding your voice is freeing.
7. Remember writing is your passion! When you struggle, think of it as a challenge, not a chore. You have a gift that you share with others. You should love the process and enjoy the journey. You're the creator of your own destiny. It's the best job in the world!
Contest Continues .... so who do you suppose sat right behind me while I was watching Bourne Identity? (Hint: he was the guest/singer on American Idol and also a great songwriter) Keep guessing here and I'll post the name on Friday.