Things I wish I knew about writing when I started out

Things I wish I knew about writing when I started outI wish I’d known a few more things about writing when I started out, so I’ve compiled a list of useful tips and advice from other writers that might help both seasoned pros and newbies alike.

If you like any of the advice, please visit the writers profile/website and check them out.

“Make sure you have fun foremost.” Glendon Perkins

“Don’t worry about if it’s any good or not, just write.” Kyra Halland

“Wish I’d known that not everyone who critiques your writing knows what they’re talking about, including me.” Roland Boykin

“Start building a platform or following when you start writing.” Rebecca P. McCray

“I wrote a whole long novel before I learned I needed to learn things.” Louis Doggett

“Don’t write what you know, write what you love. And don’t force yourself to focus on one writing task if the words aren’t coming. A blog post, a time line, notes, even ideas for a new project. Sometimes the mind needs a rest, and new inspiration.” Penny Ruggaber

“Write the scenes and chapters in order and summarise them as you go.” Mark Mercieca

“Don’t let fear of rejection stop you.  Look how many times you’ve been rejected just to get where you are in life.  Smack downs happen, write anyway.” Mary Martin

“You’ll have days where the last you want to do is write. Write anyway. You will thank yourself later.” Tim McEnroe

“Do not compare yourself to other writers. What works for them may not work for you.” AND… “In the beginning, don’t stress over building a platform/being on social media. Focus on writing. Writing must always come first.” Alice Janell

“The only true failure is giving up.” Angeline Trevena

“Before you become a writer, you must become a reader. Read as many different books as possible. Not just the genre you plan to write, but others outside your comfort zone to see the various styles of writing.” Chris Mentzer

Write what hurts; hide it in your writing and your story will ring with sincerity.” L.K. Evans

You might also like the tongue-in-cheek The Cretin’s Top Ten Tips to Being the Greatest Writer Ever.

If you liked this post, check out some of the other posts in the “Things I Wish I Knew About” series: Author PromotionPoint Of View, Critiquing, Dealing With Rejection, Editing Your Own Work, Short Stories, Creating Characters, Story DevelopmentFirst Drafts, and Worldbuilding.

10 thoughts on “Things I wish I knew about writing when I started out

  1. My two quotes:
    Quote 1: Situation: Crisis: Resolution.
    Set up your characters and story arc fairly quickly then create your crisis for them to respond to. That’s the bulk of your plot. Your character/s dealing with whatever is going wrong in your wold. Then resolution, you wrap things up and resolve whatever has been going on.
    Quote 2: Keep your major/core plot idea simple. So for example, there is a dark lord/ evil dude, a hero rises or is chosen to bump him/her/it off.
    Whatever your core idea is, make sure you you enjoy your core plot or you can relate to it, don’t try to write something that you think will “Read Well” or is “Controversial”.
    hmm…three quotes really! Hope they’re of use!

  2. There are a few things I’ve learnt about writing that I’d like to add ….

    1. You know that you know your story when you are able to summarise it in a paragraph that consists of at most four sentences, not longer but preferably shorter. So you can either think of a sentence or two about what your story is about, then branch it out; or you can look at your older never-finished projects with several pages long synopsis and decide which one you can work on first by summarising them — if you are unable to summarise them into four sentences long paragraph, toss it aside for another time.

    2. Every story, no matter what genre, consists of worldbuilding. Sometimes it’s just as small as who’s your character’s neighbour, other times it’s much bigger and as the word suggests: you’re building an entire world. But story telling and world building can go hand in hand. You can start with a basic, maybe even vague, world then add the details as you go. (I just recently learnt this. Before I was so stressed out with my own decision not to start the story before I finish world building, but now I am more comfortable knowing that I don’t have to finish it right NOW. The story will unveil some new details anyway.)

    3. Avoid infodumps. At least half of us have had that moment when you’ve done deep research and feel like you have to include ALL of them in your story. Don’t. Research as much as you think is needed then add what’s relevant to the story; nothing more. In general, just don’t overdo things that don’t contribute to your story progress.

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