Almost everyone has that secret desire to write a story or publish our very own novel one fine day. But for most of us, that day keeps getting pushed further and further away due to various personal and professional reasons. It is quite hard to devote time towards our writing amidst the hustle bustle of everyday life. Not all of us can afford a month long holiday at some serene cottage up in the mountains where we can absorb in the tranquility and let our creative juices flow. Our masterpieces generally remain shining in our dreams instead.
I was blessed with an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade under my esteemed Mentor when I traveled to New Zealand. What better place for writing my manuscript than one of the most peaceful countries of the world- New Zealand. I had previously thought that I possessed the skills of writing but after coming in contact with some of the most successful authors here, I realized that my skills needed polishing- an intense polishing at that.
In this series of blog-posts, I would like to share with you the pearls of wisdom which I collected here.
For all aspiring writers, my first and foremost advice would be to pick up that pen and start writing, or rather, turn on that laptop and start typing. Don’t stop to think while writing. Let it flow. Writing is all about momentum. Write at least 2000-3000 words per day. I know that seems a lot, but if you intend to write a ‘60,000 words’ novel, you better get started at a reasonably doable rate. And once you are in the mood to write, you will find yourself not stopping for hours at end (nature’s call and rumbling stomachs aside 🙂 .
With all this writing, sometimes you tend to lose track of the story. Let yourself be guided by your inner voice. Lots of sub-plots start interfering with the progress of the main one. To avoid this, fix an ending to which the story progresses and work towards that ending. Let the subplots intervene themselves with the main one. That way you know where you are headed despite all the complications creeping up in your story.
The way you write the initial draft is also important. Although you will have to go through several edits later on, you still need a worthy material to work on. Remember to keep a hard hitting edginess in your writing to keep the reader on his seat. Describe sounds and add imagery to your writing. Don’t be so internal. Instead of telling the character’s feelings, list three four images that show it. Sounds create an image in the mind of the reader and get them more involved in your story.
Don’t be lazy with the choice of your words. Don’t use abstractions like nice, handsome, lovely etc. It flattens the interest of the story. Specific details become metaphoric. They work simultaneously on the inside and outside of the characters. Don’t use the most obvious and safest way to show a particular emotion. For example: Try showing love through anger. Remember, the more you invest in your story, the more interest you will generate in the reader.
With this advice, start off on a journey of writing your first book. Look out for the upcoming posts on plots, dialogues and all that goes into writing a successful book. My best wishes are with you.