hiya! was just wondering if you had any general writing and/or life tips for prospective writers?

7. August 2015 Schreiben lernen


Sure, yeah! I’ll give you some of the top things I’ve learned in studying creative writing/life in general.

ONE: Never underestimate the reader. A lot of times people think that they have to describe every single detail so that the audience will know what they mean, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes simply saying “she gave him a curious look” says more than “her brows furrowed in curiosity, wondering what he meant”. You have to trust the reader to make that connection on their own while still keeping the writing smooth and limited. The reader will catch on to your hints. Don’t make it too obvious.

TWO: Master the art of flash fiction. The more flash fiction you write, the better your longer writing will become. Flash fiction is a story of 1000 words or less that really strips down to the wire and creates intrigue without giving too much away, very much like a short film. I had a whole class on flash fiction and my writing INSTANTLY improved afterward, especially because I am someone who thrives on descriptive language and often over-complicates things in my work.

THREE: Write 1,000 words or more every day. Stephen King said this in his book about what makes a good writer, and I believe it. I’ve been keeping up with this for the past year and it’s worked out wonderfully for me. I can feel my writing truly improving, and it gets you in the habit of pushing past writer’s block. You don’t have to publish what you write anywhere. Just write something. 

FOUR: Read books. Like a sword needs a whetstone, a writer needs reading. Sharpen your skills in someone else’s forgery. Get inspired. Compliment other writers and appreciate when they compliment you back.

FIVE: Never ever ever ever ever ever forget the fans. They are the reason you do what you do. Don’t disrespect them. Want to break their hearts with plot? Go ahead! Want to make your story stick with them in good and bad ways? By all means! You are the writer and have full creative license, but understand that your fans are your sponsors and your network, the people holding you up. Don’t walk on them. 

SIX: Learn how to take criticism, even the bad stuff. Writing will always leave you vulnerable to haters. Learn to ignore them and you’re unstoppable (but listen to those who politely present genuine complaints, however. Address them kindly, you might find they’re right!)

SEVEN: Know what needs your full attention and what doesn’t. As a future novelist I have to wonder what my focus is truly on–writing fanfiction while I’m working on my degrees, or saving all that creative juice for my novel? Of course, that’s not to say that I’m lazy over my fanfiction, but I don’t slave over it like I would over actual books. Fanfiction is free. It’s not my dream to write fanfic forever and I’m not getting paid, nor will it get me famous. Just be aware of your priorities. Don’t wear yourself out before your real journey begins!

EIGHT: Put your work out there. Poetry, fanfiction, original work, something. Get feedback. Learn how to interact with fans and take suggestions/criticism from them. Don’t be shy.

NINE: Get an ego (in a good way!). It takes serious guts to put your writing out there. It’s a part of you that you’re exposing to the world; of course you’ll get offended when someone tears it down, and love it when others raise it up. I’m convinced that every writer has to be a bit self-absorbed to make it, because confidence is truly the key to getting out of the gate.

TEN: Travel somewhere alone. You may think that going to Mexico, San Francisco and Italy for two weeks as a 20 y/o single white girl all by myself was a bad choice, but it was FUN and I made so many memories. You meet new people and learn to socialize, learn to break out of your comfort zone. You hear stories that inspire you from other people. You make new friends and have no limits on what you can do–it’s incredibly liberating. I can’t tell you how it helped me as a writer and a person to be able to stand in the Sistine Chapel around a bunch of strangers, looking up at Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and thinking to myself, “wow. This is art, this is history, this is the impact of what we create as people over hundreds of years. And I’m contributing.” I sat in that chapel for three hours watching people go by, surrounded by all this beautiful art and raw purity of the human existence and I was on no one else’s time. I spent days just walking around Rome and learning about humanity because I wanted to. It was powerful. Let humanity inspire you.