Everyone writes for different reasons. For some it is a hobby, some are interested in writing to make money, others only want to see their book on a shelf in a store. Whatever the reason, you need to learn to write professionally.
The writing journey usually begins with an idea of something you’d like to tell. We have something we want to tell others about, and if the story might interest others, we have a story.
Writing is not only putting words on paper. It is knowing how to write. Writing a book is different than writing a research paper. Fiction writing is different from writing for a newspaper. Non fiction is different from fiction. Each genre is written a little different. A suspense has a lot of action, but a romance is slower paced. A women’s fiction is different from a romance. In a romance you need to have a happily ever after or HEA. Knowing what you write and how to write it is important.
Keep the facts straight. It is so easy to get characters mixed up, We’ve all done it. I read one book where the father had gone out to sea, but he suddenly showed up at a party. It’s easy to get names mixed up. We see that a lot.
If you want to write professionally, work like you are on the job. Set office hours to write, have some time set aside for family things, but do your work consistently. That is hard to do if you work from home. Family interrupts our plans often. This has happened this week for me. I have to have a schedule each day, but it’s been hard this week. The things I thought I’d have finished are going to be about two days behind. Writing is a crazy life. You have to be ready for change.
Above all, study the craft. Read books on writing. My all time favorites are anything by James Scott Bell. Brandilyn Collins has very good books on writing. There are others, but right now I can’t think of them all. These are the ones I have at arms length. One of the first things I bought as a new writer was Flip Dictionary. This helps me so much. I also have three books I reference when I’m writing, The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide in Psychological Trauma, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Places. These are a big help in your writing.
Kathy Cretsinger, Mantle Rock Publishing LLC