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Hello my Weirdos!
First, let me point something out: I purposely used the word "winner" and not "writer". Why? Well, I had "writer" typed out at first, but then I looked at it and thought to myself...this doesn't only apply to writers! You have to have a winner's mindset to succeed in anything you do. Take it from Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean; if he hadn't had that mindset, the epic tale would have ended with Elizabeth probably getting killed somehow.
"Character deaths ring untrue when it’s apparent to the reader that the character is only in the story to die." -standoutbooks.com
Hope this helps!
On twitter I recently ran across a link to a blog post titled "The Worst Ways to Begin Your Novel," and after reading a bit, I found myself soaking up creative wisdom in these editors' words! Here are a few beginnings that editors are sick of.
“One of the biggest problems is the ‘information dump’ in the first few pages, where the author is trying to tell us everything we supposedly need to know to understand the story. Getting to know characters in a story is like getting to know people in real life. You find out their personality and details of their life over time.”
– Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary
“Characters that are moving around doing little things, but essentially nothing. Washing dishes & thinking, staring out the window & thinking, tying shoes, thinking.”
– Dan Lazar, Writers House
“The (adjective) (adjective) sun rose in the (adjective) (adjective) sky, shedding its (adjective) light across the (adjective) (adjective) (adjective) land.”
– Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary
(To see more, click the button below, or see my Links page!)
"After writing my story for over three and a half years, I've learned a few lessons that I'd like to pass on to you. First, keep at it. Never stop, never give up. It will get discouraging, writer's block will come. But don't give up.
Second, when you get writer's block, work on something else for a few days or weeks. Come back to the problematic section with fresh eyes. It'll make a huge difference.
Get attached to your characters. Love them, and care for them. Then you'll get to know them, and the better you know them, the better you will write them. Put yourself in their shoes. Feel for them. Laugh, cry, hurt, smile. If you feel what they do, you can understand them better, and write them better. Just remember, don't make it easy for them. Adversity is a catalyst for change. And change is what stories are all about. Put them through the hardest situations, the biggest struggles, and remember that it is for their good. They will change for the better, but only after the difficulties.
IMPORTANT: NOTHING happens for no reason. NO character is pointless. Every bit of information you reveal, every circumstance, every action MUST have a purpose. If it has no purpose, cut it out. Note: the purpose could be filling the world, revealing aspects of the setting, making the scene feel a certain way or making it more believable, even being a comforting voice to the protagonist. But everything has a purpose. If it doesn't, remove it. It will only be a distraction from the plot.
Finally, just have fun! I love writing, and building stories and characters is an awesome experience.
Well, that's all for now. Hope you find some of this helpful!"
Dale J. Sheridan
*disclaimer: I do not own many of the photos on this page. All rights to the rightful owners of any/all photos.
"Read a lot, and write a lot. Write what you LOVE, even if people tell you it’s not worth your time. And never, ever give up."