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Writer-Talk Wednesday: Kaye’s Top Ten Writing Tips | #amwriting #top10 #2017WritingGoals

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Set aside a completed manuscript to create objectivity. Don’t think; just write. Make lists. Here’s a list of the top-ten tips that have helped me the most as a professional author.


Originally published May–June 2010 / Revised September 2014


    You’ll never know how to write the beginning of a novel until you write through to the ending of it. You don’t know what hints/clues/red herrings you need to incorporate. You don’t know what themes are going to be important to introduce early. And you don’t know what secondary characters or subplots are going to come into play that need to be worked into the beginning of the novel. more…

Writing Tip #2: I Need Distance

    When we’re in the midst of writing a manuscript, we’re so close to it, we can’t see misused or missing words. We can’t see where we’ve used telling language instead of showing. We can’t see info dumps or excessive explanation or description. It isn’t until we’ve cleared the manuscript from our minds, until we’ve allowed ourselves to move on to something else for a little while, that we can begin to see the things that need to be addressed. more…

Writing Tip #3: Start Something New

    To help you clear your mind of the manuscript you just finished, one of the best things you can do is start working on another story. It may not be writing—it may be collecting images of characters and settings, doing research of the time period or of the careers you want these characters to have. It may be meeting with your critique/accountability partners and brainstorming story ideas. It may be reading books you’ve determined are similar to, or will give you ideas for, your new idea. The important thing is to move on to something new as soon as possible. more…

Writing Tip #4: Read five published novels in your genre for every one craft book you read.

    So many writers, especially new writers, get caught up in “learning the craft” and they lose sight of “writing a story.” You can learn more from critically reading published novels than you’ll ever learn from reading how-to books. more…

Writing Tip #5: Story Trumps Craft

    Why did we start writing in the first place? Was it so that we could get our wrists slapped and be told “no” and “don’t” and “you can’t do it that way”? So we could sit at the computer and stare at the screen and feel so inadequate and full of self-doubt that we’d never be able to do it “right” that we’re unable to write at all? Of course not. We all started writing because WE LOVE TELLING STORIES! more…

Writing Tip #6: Don’t think. Just write

    Try to shut off the left side of your brain when writing. When you’re writing you want to tap into your creativity—the right side of the brain. The more we learn about craft, the harder it gets to write. That’s because learning about craft strengthens the left side of the brain. And that’s a good thing. more…

Writing Tip #7: MAKE LISTS!

    Something every successful con artist or pathological liar knows is that you MUST keep track of the details; you have to know whom you told what and when. Since those of us who call ourselves writers know that what we’re doing is basically telling lies for fun and fortune (okay, maybe not so much fortune as farthings), we need to remember what we’ve made up. more…

Writing Tip #8: It’s Okay If What You Write Stinks

    It’s okay if what you write stinks because you can always fix it later. The only thing you can’t fix is a blank page. When you’re in the creative process, you don’t need to be bogging yourself down with worrying about whether or not what you’re writing is “good.” You just need to write. more…

Writing Tip #9: Write your passion—but keep an eye on the market

    There are two pieces of advice you’re bound to hear at just about every writing conference or group you’ll ever attend: First, write the book of your heart; second, if you want to sell, make sure you know the market and if the genre you’ve chosen to write is selling. more…

Writing Tip #10: YOU are your best source of motivation!

    No matter how many writing groups you join, no matter how active you are in them, no matter how many blogs you write and read and comment on, no matter how many writers’ forums you participate in, when it comes down to it, writing is a solitary venture. Unless you put YOUR butt in YOUR chair and start committing words to paper (whether electronic or wood pulp), your story will not get written. more…

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