Everyone seems to try out being a writer. They dive in thinking they can be the next E.L. James (something I don’t exactly think is that great of an idea if you want to be taken seriously as an author) and they get swallowed up hard. A lot of us do it. We start out thinking we know something and the longer we work, the less we understand our own language.
It’s part of being a writer.
Picking up tricks of the trade is important. I get sick of generic quotes and lists that state dos and don’ts because things work differently depending on a writer’s style and the story.
Even so, if you want to get anywhere with readers…yes readers (agents, publishers, and editors are not the end all be all-they are an important part of the publishing process but not the most important), you have to make sure your shit is READABLE.
It’s one of the most difficult things to do. The technical aspects of writing will drive you nuts. It will torment you. You will suck and no matter how much you improve, there will always be at least one person who hates everything you produce.
The point is to grow.
Keep writing, keep learning, keep READING and making sure that your stories get better each time you write.
The basics are important. Avoid adverbs like the black plague, use semi-colons like you’re Vonnegut, and as always, paint a damn picture for your reader. Don’t say “it was blue”. Show me the sweeping shades of cerulean and navy swirling together. (But avoid alliteration haha)
Redundant phrases and words are best weeded out with time. I always recommend setting your work aside for months. Lock it away and come back to edit. Lock it away again. Edit some more. Lock that shit away again.
Yeah we all hear, “life is short,” and it’s so crazy fucking difficult to be patient when you’re dying to share your story with the world, but take pride in your work. Understand that it’s not called a writing process because we use word processors. It is work. Time and skill are needed to please readers.
I am no expert, but I’ve learned some things. I don’t intend to ever stop learning. That’s part of what makes writing interesting. There’s always something new to try.