I got an ask on my Tumblr I thought I'd share it here as well.
Do you have any good tips for a fellow beginning writer like myself?
Oh this reply could get really long really quick… so I hope you don’t mind me summarizing just a few points?
- Plot development is important. Take your time. Don’t rush things (But don’t make it drag on too much either) Foreshadowing can be your friend if used sparingly. Don’t give up all your secrets at once. Make your readers want to keep reading to find out what happens to the world you create and the characters living there.
- Character development is important, too. Not only should you make your character well-developed and believable for the beginning, but also they need to change and grow as the plot grows. You need to show changes they go through mentally and/or physically. What they learn along the way.
- If your world is a magical one, set limits. Magic doesn’t mean that anything can happen. every rule has rules. Make rules, terms and conditions and stick to them.
- Show, don’t tell. You can read about this one better in my tutorial on it (Link). But basically don’t tell us what happened. describe it to us. But of course, don’t overdo it. There is a thing such as too much detail.
- use a good mix of fun down time and drama/conflict. Too much down time for the characters get dull and readers wont continue. Too much conflict makes it really busy and readers need a rest. make it a roller coaster until you mount to the climax of the story (Final battle type things) and then when that is over, give them a little more downtime to enjoy the ending and leave readers satisfied (Even if its a depressing ending and not a happy one) Don’t be afraid to break reader’s hearts. Gaining emotional responses of any kind from your readers show that you are successful. make them sit on the edge of their seats, make them cry, scream, laugh, sigh and even roll around squealing joyfully.
- BETA-READ IT! Before you post it publicly or send it in to potential publishers Read over the whole thing carefully to catch as many mistakes you may have made. Typos, Grammar, spelling… Scenes may need some fixing as well to better flow with later scenes and plot twists.
- Practice. Keep writing use prompts and writing exercises. take a break if you have writers block, but only from that project. move to writing a short story or whatever. as long as you keep writing, you are learning and defining your style. (Also as a side note here. read. Read other people’s works. You can learn a lot from other people as well.) You are not going to be perfect right off. Don’t let that detour you from writing. and if you post it publicly like a fanfiction and you don’t get comments, don’t give up. keep working on it. Eventually a reader may find you and like what you do. it sometimes takes time. When I first re-entered writing fanfiction after a long break from fanfic writing. New, fresh account and everything… it took months before I started seeing comments…and more time passed before i started seeing regular readers. Sometimes I’ll post a new story and still wait weeks before I see activity and feedback for it. Never give up and just keep pushing your pen. A story may die on you, inspiration for it may dry up… but thats ok. you may go back later after a long break and make it better… or you will start a new story that turns out amazing. I have been writing most of my life and I am still learning. I still make mistakes, but thats okay. And its ok for all writers.
- And most importantly, enjoy it. if you don’t enjoy writing it, how can you expect readers to enjoy it? You write for yourself first, and simply choose to share it with whomever may enjoy and appreciate your work.