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Friday, June 13, 2014

Five Writing Tips from @DeanfWilson #SelfPub #Fantasy #AmWriting

In almost every interview I have been asked to give advice to aspiring writers, sometimes on how to get published, how to finish a book, or just how to write in the first place. These tips should prove helpful for all of these desired outcomes.
1. Read Often and Widely
Without reading there would be little reason to write. A writer must firstly be a reader or he or she will never know the craft. I have actually encountered a few would-be writers who do not want to read, with some finding it unnecessary and others afraid it will influence their work. The truth is that everything will influence an author’s work, directly or indirectly, and we should actively immerse ourselves in the written word. We know what “read often” means, but what about “read widely?” Broaden your reading to more than just your favourite genre. Read the classics. Read non-fiction. Read books with great characters and books with great plots. Read masters of language, including poets. Read articles, news, and comics, because everything can enhance your understanding of language and how to use it effectively. All styles and genres have something to teach us.
2. Write the Rubbish Out of Your System
Raymond Chandler, author of The Big Sleep, is hailed as the origin of the advice that authors must write one million words of rubbish before they can write anything good. While the exact number is obviously just an estimate, a rule of thumb, the key to this is: practice. A writer must gain experience writing in order become good at it, in much the same way the experts of any other field had to undergo years of practice to get to their current level.
Over the years I wrote many things, from novels and short stories to poetry and articles, and I wrote a lot of terrible work, much of which still sits in shame on the forgotten parts of my hard drives. These were necessary creations, as much as it pains me to even think about them, because without writing them I would never have developed my craft to the level it is today.
Part of the initial process, apart from learning to write in general, is finding your style. This can take quite a long time, as we are initially prone to emulate the greats. We are also likely to want to “show off” our new-found “mastery” of language to some degree, using fanciful words, or perhaps too many words, that serve only to hinder our ability to communicate, rather than enhancing it. When we get past this pretentious period we begin to uncover our real ability and style, and the process becomes much easier and faster.
3. Study the Language
Sometimes it does not matter how much you read or write—you have to learn the rules of the language. Knowing how to use certain elements of grammar or the correct spelling of a word is essential to telling a good story. Most of these rules are in place in order to enhance our ability to communicate. While some authors might think of themselves as the next James Joyce, recreating Finnegan’s Wake is not the most ideal way to write a book. As the saying goes, we must learn the rules before we can break them. Our duty is to communicate a story, which means that sometimes we can bend the rules in order to do so, but it should be a conscious effort, not merely an error due to poor understanding of the language. Attention to detail in this regard can also increase our chances of getting published and ensure we do not aggravate attentive readers.
4. Perfect the Work
Finishing the book the first time over is not the end of the process. Chances are it needs revision, potentially a lot of it. At the very least it will need to be edited and proofed. Sometimes we miss our own errors, so it should also be checked by the eyes of another.
Now, obviously it is impossible to reach absolute perfection, but that does not mean we should go to the opposite extreme and send it to an agent or publisher, or publish it independently, as soon as we type the final word.
We may need to stew on it for a while, and newer story ideas that have not been plotted sufficiently in advance may need to be completely reworked, especially if there are plot gaps, contradictions, or other glaring errors.
We should always submit our best work. We would expect it of any other writer we read, and we owe it to our readers to deliver similarly high quality material.
5. Persevere
The single factor that defines success in any aspect of life is perseverance. If you do not keep turning the pages, you will never read a book. If you do not keep writing, you will never amass a million words, nor develop your style. If you do not keep studying the language, you will never know how to use it to communicate a good story. If you do not keep perfecting your work, you will never deliver the quality the reader deserves.
Many people say they would like to write a book, but at the end of the day they must sit down and do it, or the aspiration will always remain a dream. It is hard work and not always fun, but we can never have the view from the top of the mountain if we do not make the difficult climb up.
Likewise, when a writer finishes their book they must persevere through the often lengthy rewriting and editing stages, and then the potentially agonising period of seeking publication. Many popular writers were rejected frequently before they were published. For example, J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter title was refused by 12 publishers before it was finally given a chance, proving that publishers are not always right about what is good material or what might sell well. If she had given up at any of the many hurdles along the way, she would have missed out on what turned out to be a very lucrative career, and readers would have missed out on an enjoyable series.
Stay the course and continue to trudge on. In time that effort will be repaid tenfold.

After the catastrophe of the Call of Agon, Ifferon and his companions find themselves in the unenviable situation of witnessing, and partaking in, the death of another god—this time Corrias, the ruler of the Overworld.
With Corrias locked inside the corpse of the boy Théos, he suffers a fate worse than the bonds of the Beast Agon. Yet hope is kindled when the company find a way to restore the boy, and possibly the god, back to life.
The road to rebirth has many pitfalls, and there are some who consider such meddling with the afterlife a grave risk. The prize might be life anew—but the price might also be a second death.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Epic Fantasy
Rating – PG
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