Rachna graciously asked me to do a guest post. She was specific with her request – must be writing related. Now, anyone who knows me is aware that my blog is the last place to go for writing tips. If I started posting writing tips it might take some of you years to recover from the damage. So instead I will offer a few things that just might make the journey easier.
Don’t follow trends
Write what you enjoy. Write the story you want to read, even if it’s not a popular genre right now. (When I was writing CassaStar, everyone said science fiction was dead. I wrote it anyway.) The timing may still not be right when you finish, but you can hang on to it until the trend cycles around again. Besides, if you’re not writing what you really enjoy, your lack of passion will be evident in the words. If it doesn’t excite you, it won’t excite anyone else.
Use critique partners
The idea of sharing our work with others can be scary. But what a difference it makes! Critique partners are a fresh set of eyes. They can direct you by making suggestions and finding mistakes. You might not realize you used the word “that” five hundred times in your manuscript, but your critique partners will notice. And you don’t just learn from the critique of your work – you learn by critiquing your partner’s work. Double bonus!
We’re not just writing for us – we’re writing for our fans. They become just as invested in the characters. Plus they are the ones who will fork over the bucks for our next book. Individual reviews and responses aren’t as important as the overall picture, though. When the same issue or request is repeated often, take note. Maybe you’re too detailed or world-build too much. (Maybe you’re like me and don’t do enough!) Maybe the fans are all hoping you’ll go a certain direction in the next book. (“There WILL be a female character in the next book, right?”) Write the story you want but be sure to make the fans happy.
Let your blog be true to you
Your blog is a representation of you – your personality, tastes, style and attitude. You need to be true to yourself on your blog. (Unless those things are all bad. Then you might have a problem.) Yes, we want people to like us and read our blogs. But if we’re not posting with passion, no one will care anyway. There’s no standard formula for a writer or author’s blog, either. (Mine’s about as unconventional as they come!) Whatever your angle, have fun with it.
The greatest part of blogging is the support we get and the support we give. Generosity and encouragement go a long way. Writing isn’t a competition. There’s room in this world for all of us. If we’re willing to share in the joys of others without expectation of reciprocation, it always comes back to us. Supporting others is as simple as leaving positive comments on other blogs or shouting out someone’s accomplishment on your own blog. It’s all about friendship and what we’re willing to give.
Those are the best writing tips this Ninja can offer! Now, where’s my Hot Tamales?
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of Amazon Best Sellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Thankyou Alex, for sharing your views with us. Here is wishing you loads of success in life.
P.S .If any of you have not yet met Captain Ninja (Alex) you really are missing a wonderful friend. Change that, by following him ASAP.