Friday, May 11, 2012

Whiz With Words!

When you decided to become a writer, did you know how to write? Were you a whiz with the words?


If you are anything like me and most writers, it takes time and practice to get the right words on the page using all the right "rules."

I'm not claiming to be perfect. . .(YES! I know, it's hard to believe it. I'm less than perfect! Humor here!) 

1) Read, read, read! 
A healthy dose of reading really does help you with content writing. Reading is more available now then it was a few years ago (phones, e-readers, computers, books, news papers etc. . .). It's not just to read great stories, but it will help increase your vocabulary as well as give you ideas. I'm always looking for different way to create character tags and dialogue tags. 

I especially love my Kindle where I can highlight a passage and remember why it struck a cord with my writing muse.

2) Write, write, write! 
The old saying, practice makes perfect, really does hold true with writers! Effective writing does not happen overnight. You have to work at it like any other craft or job. Just like any job, you need to write daily. It may only be a few words a day while you are in line at the grocery, but at least you will words on a page and practice your writing techniques.

With every edited novel I receive from my editor, I learn something new. 

3) Thick skin!
We hear this all the time. "WRITERS HAVE TO HAVE THICK SKIN." Really, what does that mean?
It means that you have to learn to take criticism and not get mad. Our writing is like our baby. It's the cutest baby we have ever seen, our pride and joy. We will lay our life on the line for our baby. But sometimes our baby needs braces to fix their teeth, a cast to fix a broken bone. . .you get the point! 

I live by the power of three. If someone says something three times or three different people say the same thing about my story, my ears perk up and that's my clue that something needs to be changed. Sometimes my editor tells me to change it and I believe her:)

4) Read out loud!
There is nothing more powerful than reading your book out loud. You will catch so many things that your trained mind will not catch if you read it in your head. Reading out loud helps you find grammatical errors, punctuation issues, and plot holes. It gives you a good sense of the flow of your story. 

5) Edit! 
That is one word that I should type and you completely understand. Whether it's a blog or your novel, you know that you have to go over and over it. This is the hardest part about self-publishing! I have paid GREAT money for each editor that I've hired. . .and there are still so many mistakes in my novels! Currently I am having every single one of my novels re-edited. AND as you can read. . .I'm not the best editor with this blog either, but I keep going and I get better with each blog.

So. . .are you a whiz with words? What do you do to improve your writing?

I'm giving away a copy of The Tricked Out Toolbox to one LUCKY commenter!! You have to come back and see who won. I will post it in the comments section on Sunday, and you have ONE week to claim your book!
AND. . .I'm so excited to announce that SPLITSVILLE.COM is a finalist in two categories (Mystery AND Humor) in THE NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS!! 
I'm beyond thrilled! The awards ceremony takes place in June at the Book Expo of America, where I will receive a medal!! How cool is that?? Plus SPLITSVILLE.COM will be listed in the library catalogs across the country. 
SO. . .these writing tips really do work to get your work noticed! Keep at it. It's your passion!

14 comments:

  1. Good advice never goes out of style. Thanks!

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  2. The thing that helps me the most is reading aloud. Thanks for all your valuable suggestions.

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  3. I'm always amazed at how much different it all sounds when I read it out loud. As always, thank you for the great advice and congrats on the awards!!! Very cool!

    Alannah

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    1. I find so many mistakes in my writing and the flow when I read out loud. It truly is eye opening.

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  4. Tonya, this is priceless. A Whiz with Words? Not me, at least not when I started. I was a reader and I read a book about a barrel racer. The writing was good, but the facts about the barrel horse were so wrong. I thought, I can write better than this. It will be easy. Five years and many classes later, I'm getting close to having my first book ready to set out into the world. Yeah, I'm a whiz. Thank you for a great post.

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! Good luck with your first novel. That's pretty exciting!

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  5. All of the key points you have touched on are very important. I've found that the most helpful in my case is the use of a reading software. It reads my text outloud and like you said it catching stuff missed if read in your head. It catches flow and plot holes as well as grammatical errors. I think I'm in love ;)

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    1. Hi Mila - I've heard of other authors doing this too. What software do you use?

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    2. Oh, good question, Alannah! I have never used reading software. . .Have to check that out!

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  6. Great advice. I read my book out loud and let my computer do it when my vocal cords get too strained. Easy thing to do, but so many people skip this step. I had a horrible experience last night and learned the hard way—the last person you want buying your book is someone you went to high school with. I'm still reeling over her harsh comments. Thanks for your wonderful blog!

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    1. OH, no Madison! What happened??? That's terrible!!

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  7. STEPHANIE!! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF A COPY OF TRICKED OUT TOOLBOX!!! contact me through the about me page! And I'll get in touch! You have one week to claim your prize!

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