Monday, December 30, 2013

13 Things for Writers from Kami Garcia

Got this from Kami Garcia the co-author of the Castor Chronicles, and I wanted to put some of my thoughts into her main points.

1. Writing is not a gift from the gods. It’s hard work.

2. Write whenever you can.

3. Don’t chase trends.
4. Know what you’re going to write about.

5. Read as much as you can.

6. Finish the first draft—no matter how bad it is.

7. Create a dump folder & file.

8. Carry a notebook.

9. Read everything you write out loud.

10. Find a critique partner.

11. Don’t compare your draft to the books in bookstores and libraries

12. Learn how to take criticism.

13. Do not “save” things for your next book.

13.5. Don’t get hung up on what you can’t do (don’t have time for, etc.). Start thinking about what you can do

My Input to her statements.

1. Writing is hard work. If you are willing to put forth the effort into writing you can have a successful career.

2. I hear this a lot from writers saying how they don't have the time to write, but to be a writer you have to make the time to write. One writer I know turned her hallway closet into a writing room so she could have time to write. I am a full time college student and I manage to participate in NaNoWriMo every year and still write about two books a year. You do need to write as much as you can. If you can set yourself a daily goal, it can be by the word count or something as simple as finishing a chapter.

3. Well this is a tricky subject. When some writers refer to trends they speak of traditional publishing, but an author has many options in this new era to publish their works. Every writer has their reason for choosing a path for publication, which I support no matter which method they choose to publish.

4. Yes. This is a big thing. Know what the story is you want to put on paper. The story I wanted to read that I queried out to many many agents got rejected, I don't know what to do with the story, but anyway you have to write the story that you want to tell.

5. You have to read a lot to become a writer. Every book has something to teach you. Use the amount of time reading to study the craft of other writers and how their writing style; dual POV, first person, third limited etc. Reading as much as you can will tell you about the types of stories that are out there and what people are looking for in a book.

6. Yes you have to continue working hard at finishing that story. It may be hard at first but you need to push yourself. Even if you think the story is horrible just finish it you can always go back and edit the heck out of it later.

7. This is a very useful tool. When I am writing the first draft I have a document open and type in the scenes I wanted to add into the story. I finish the draft first then as I am revising through the document I can see where the scenes will fit in.

8. You want to carry the notebook to write down ideas and inspiration. You never know when an interesting idea is going to hit you.

9. When you are in the middle of revisions read the story out loud. Everything sounds different when you are reading it out loud. This is part of the reason most English teachers tell you to do this the words will sound weird and it will make you fix it until it sounds perfect.

10. Find someone who will give you an honest opinion about your stories. I normally print mine out and show them to my English professors, or show them to a friend who gives me the opinion of a reader. You want someone who's honest, and reads with a critical eye.

11. Don't focus on all of of the other books out there, or comparing your work to them. Write what you want to write.

12. If someone tells you something doesn't feel right about a certain part in the story take it as a complement to improve.

13. Please don't copy and paste things from your other stories. I have seen this with other self published works, and it never works out. Just write a whole brand new story.

13.5 Don't get filled with so much self doubt. Fill yourself with positive thoughts and the will to write will come. 

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