Tips from the author
Write, write, write.
There really is no substitute, the more you do, the better you become at expressing the thoughts and impressions of your mind.
Over the years I've always maintained that as long as I write for one hour, I'm happy, so that is what I've done, whether I write 500 words or 1000 words is of no consequence. I know other authors set themselves targets of writing 1000 words a day, but for me this doesn't work. I get too annoyed with myself, if I fail to reach such targets, so it's always been about time and sitting at my desk for one hour.
I'm now in a position where I wake every morning at 4, have breakfast and set to writing. Sometimes I'm not fully wakened but I'm so fully engrossed in the world, or story of which I am writing that I go to bed thinking about writing and I wake thinking about writing. So the moment my belly is full, I'm sitting down dreaming of being the character I'm writing about. Yes, I'm one of those. My role as author is in becoming the character in my head. There are many authors who prefer to move their characters around their worlds, like we used to move our little soldiers around the living room floor as kids, and they write very well. To me it's all about captivating the character and portraying them as real as I can on the page. I'm not saying those other authors do not, but my mind works this way rather than that.
If you are here having just begun writing, or are still thinking about it, here's something you may find up lifting. Writing is never written once, it is always rewritten. Whether it is written, a second, a third or even a fifth or a sixth time, does not matter. You just keep going until it's shaped into a fine piece of prose. It can be a curse, the editing stage, but to me it is where the magic happens.
I sit down and frantically write a first draft. Why, because it is there in my mind and I have to get it all down in one sitting, if possible, otherwise I continue the following day and the next until it's complete. Then comes the sometimes and often daunting task of editing. The way I now do it is to re-read a piece, whether a chapter or a short story, consciously the first time, taking notes as I go. I make any changes necessary, then repeat. I keep doing this until the prose can be read, by me, sub-consciously. Then I know it is ready. The thing I haven't mentioned, which is vital. Is to read as if reading someone else's work. The only way to do this is to allow it to rest. Leave it alone for a good few days, a week, even a month, it is entirely up to you. But give it time, don't think about it and then when you come back to it you will not remember the exact words you used and can read it as if reading, potentially for the first time.
It is possible to write something between one story and the next, during your 'leaving it alone time.' This works well for gaining a new perspective. Also, for editing, join online writing communities and review other writers' work. This will sharpen your eye and make you more critical of your own stories.
My mind flutters a lot and many stories tend to come through at once, which is why, having started one, I have had a tendency to move on to another. My files folder was cluttered with many unfinished works I have written both recently and some time ago. When I re-read them the latter, not so long ago, I hadn't the foggiest what I was thinking about at the time of their first creation. Hence they have all been removed and placed in a folder I call, the back of the drawer. This means I have potentially lost them, but they are kept in case one day I feel an urge to get back and try and reclaim them.
The way round this I've found, is to write one story to its completion, at a time and take notes as parts of other stories come through whilst in the process of writing. See under next heading for a more in depth look at note writing.
As I said earlier, I write every day now, except on Sunday. Most days, I can't wait to get stuck in, but there are, very rarely, days when I just don't want to do it. What do I do, I write. Yep I sit down anyway. Why, because I've learned that if I just sit down and read what I've written already, in whatever world I'm currently involved, I always find something I want to add to the story. And from one word grows a sentence, one sentence grows and paragraph, one paragraph comes a scene, one scene creates a chapter. And before I know it, my hour is up but I don't want to finish.
Currently I'm building Evania. You can read all about it on my Excerpts page.
Notepads, notepads, notepads.
I have them everywhere. Cluttered on my desk, on my bedside cabinet, in my car and always in my back pocket, with a pen always about my person. Why, because one never knows when inspiration may strike and if one has to hunt for these things, then the act you just thought of, or piece of dialogue you know will work well for a character is not written down hence forth, it may be lost entirely and you may never see it again.
I watched the great Stephen King tell an inspirational talk, whereby he expresses the need to not worry so much, to let things happen in the mind as the important stuff will stick, he calls it a filtering process, (Watch the video) If this works for you, fine. But I like to write everything down, even if it's a few words on what must happen, it gives me something to work with on those days I don't want to do it, and also, more importantly gives me the choice to change words around to create the perfect sentence or phrase.
In the early days, after I bought my first laptop, I would tap away at the keyboard, creating my work of fiction, when suddenly, my mind would jump to a different scene later in the story. I would grab anything to hand to jot down a note, either on the corner of a writing mag, or more often than not the bordering of a newspaper. Now, I always have my notepad for the story I am creating, sitting close by my laptop with a pen on top.
As I said earlier, I have pads scattered around my desk, they take up the most room and are all within easy reach. These are journal notepads, and I've found are essential. For when I am engrossed in a world, something jogs in my mind and I find I play out a scene from another story, or a piece of dialogue I've been battling with, suddenly leaps to the fore. Providing no one touches anything, and I make damn sure no one does, I can reach for the pad needed without thinking or even watching what I'm doing and write down that which must be recorded.
Smaller pocket pad are always in my back pocket, wherever I go. I just don't know when an idea will come to mind, and I will have to jot it down.
Take one to bed, (I am aware that doesn't read like it's meant to), but you know what I mean. Have one on your bedside cabinet, or on the floor, sitting ready for those moments, when you spring from your dreamworld, sweating, aching to get that part of the scene written down. (I do anyway.)
Also, if you don't have a bedside lamp, a torch is a valued asset to have within easy reach. The amount of times I've dashed across the darkened room in eagerness, only to find the office chair not where it should be. OK it's on wheels, but it doesn't roll over carpet so easily.
I've the bruises on my little toe to prove it.
Read, read, read.
Growing up in the 80's, I have fond memories of watching my parents, head drooped inside a book. Of course I copied them, and I'm glad for it. My dad had an array of western novels, the ones I remember and read were J. T. Edson, I loved them, I can't remember which ones I read or who the characters were, but I do remember reading them all and enjoying fulfilled Saturday afternoons engrossed in their words.
Read in all genres, not just your preferred or chosen field or genre. Read fiction and non-fiction. Read to learn, read to be educated above all read for the enjoyment. The greater your reading, the greater and more enhanced your vocabulary will become.
I love fantasy books, so I read and enjoy thrillers, crime and science fiction. By reading in your chosen field, you will see what has been done, and where a gap may lie, for you to slip into and also you will see where you may have to change things around in your own stories, or risk being dragged through a court room and being dubbed and copycat writer.
To me it has always been a better past time than watching any movie. Apart from the Pirates of the Caribbean series... I love 'em.
I am now a Goodreads Author. For those who are unaware of Goodreads, it is the place to be for any reader and indeed writer. There you can share with your friends all of the books you have read or want to read and talk about the books you love.
See my Reading page.
Get the news first and receive a FREE copy of
The Little Miracle
Charles F Bond is a writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction. He hopes you enjoy your visit and have much merriment in the pursuit of great reading.
The more you stick to these simple guidelines, the easier you will find it to create your own work of literature.
Enjoy your writing, and have fun with it.
Above all keep it going, and believe in it.
Enjoy your writing, and have fun with it.
Above all keep it going, and believe in it.