Writing is easy, but writing well enough to have someone publish your work, is painfully hard. And if it was easy, where’s the fun in that?
Till you don’t go through the grind of writing innumerable shitty drafts, misery ridden days of feeling your writing isn’t good enough even for pre-schoolers, profuse meltdowns cursing the minute the story idea took shape in your head , you can never fully enjoy being a published writer.
Now that my debut book, ‘Right Fit Wrong Shoe’, has sold nearly 10,000 copies, and gone into third print run in its second month (two earlier ones sold out), I can look back at my journey, which officially began in October 2006, as a writer, objectively.
Upon receiving so many queries from aspiring & wannabe writers, I decided to pen a few tips that were and still are, key to my own writing process - a journey that is ongoing and forever learning. Having no one, truly, to guide me, I figured these on my own. However, if I can help anyone to hone their writing skills, I shall rest in peace – at least for tonight. With Christmas being round the corner, I’m, also, trying to earn a few extra brownie points with the man in the red suit. So here they are:-
Research - Detailed research is an integral part of any form of writing. And thanks to the internet, local library and bookstores, it is so damn easy nowadays. Few things to research and read up on – Similar Genres (don’t worry about anxiety of influence); Fiction or nonfiction style of writing; book markets; agents; publishers; factual events, if any, mentioned in your manuscript.
Every form of writing requires research. DO NOT shy from this one. The more you read, the more you learn. The more you know, the more convincing your writing comes across. Even Fiction needs to seem real for the readers to believe or identify with. For e.g. How did Robert Ludlum get us gorging on his stories of retrograde amnesiac, Jason Bourne? How did Tom Clancy make Jack Ryan so heroic, so credible? One can feel a similar connection with Harry Potter or Edward Cullen who though clearly abnormal, are still so authentic because of the real factor in the author’s writing. Research is cardinal, in making your writing and characters credible to the readers.
Edit, edit and re-edit – I cannot emphasize on the importance of numerous edits. Remember edits not only make the manuscript tighter, reveal some minute or major structural flaws, trim extra verbiage, but also make the finished work more appealing when submitted. Editors love scripts that require no extra work. Look at it this way; you are hastening the journey of your manuscript from the editor’s desk to the printing press. However, a break of one or two weeks, or a month, in between edits is recommended.
Feedback – Here, I recommend two kinds:
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Wikipedi.org is source for some of the writers and characters mentioned this article
© 2016 Varsha Dixit
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