Today, I want to give you 10 tips to become a better writer. Writing the book is the first step and the easiest. Once you get that book out there, the real work starts, but that’s for another blog post. Today, here are some tips to make sure your writing gets better with every book you write.
1. Write and write often. You will never better your craft if you write one book and stop. So keep at it. Keep writing. You will find what works for you.
2. Read and read even more. No matter what genre you are writing or how you are being published, you need to read popular books in that genre. It will help you come up with things that will better your own craft and might even inspire you to write something you wouldn’t have thought of before. Keep reading.
3. Edit like there’s no tomorrow. This one is very important. Your first draft is never going to be the perfect manuscript. You need to edit and edit some more to make it shine as much as you can before you try to publish.
4. When you’ve exhausted self-editing, hire an editor or utilize the one provided through your publisher. Freelance editing is huge. You can find an editor at the drop of a hat now. If you self-publish or traditionally publish, use those editors. A fresh set of eyes on your manuscript can make all the difference.
5. Establish yourself on social media. Another thing that is very important. I got a late start on this and have realized you can never start this step too early. Make a Facebook Author Page, a Twitter page and an Instagram. Post frequently and build your platform. This is essential for connecting with readers and writers alike.
6. Build a newsletter. Another very important thing. The more people you reach, the better. But don’t spam.
7. Avoid using “to be” verbs like the plague. Again, you can’t take “was” out of everything. But, when you can, do. It will make your sentence pop and the reader more immersed in your world.
8. Outline your characters. Build character sheets and give them flaws and annoyances. Make them as real as you and me. Another very important thing in writing. When you read something, do you want a character that is so perfect he/she isn’t believable? Nope. So take the time to get them right before you start.
9. Keep it active. Find strong verbs and utilize the scene with little things such as picking up a fork or drumming fingernails on the kitchen counter. It will help the reader “see” the scene more clearly in their heads and will make your story come to life even more.
10. And finally, don’t read reviews. If you’re like me, so many people have told you this already but you still read every single one. And that’s okay too, but remember, not everyone will like your story. It doesn’t make it bad. It just makes it real. If you read reviews, take what you can from the critical ones and don’t dwell on the bad ones. Use them to your advantage. But never, ever complain about reviews. Be thankful, no matter how many stars you were given, that someone took the time to let you know what they thought.
That’s about all I’ve got for you today. I hope my advice rings true. I have been published for over a year and by October will have four books out in the world. I’ve learned quite a few things since I took this venture and am happy to pass along my insights today.