Tips For Writing A Book For Beginners – The Essentials

Tips for writing a book for beginners - post feature image

Hi, it’s Peter here again from Writer’s Life and coming up today – essential book writing tips for beginner writers.

If you’ve never even come close to attempting to write a book before, even the idea of doing so can seem utterly overwhelming. It may be that you have some writing experience, have written some sorts of pieces for pleasure now and again, or have just been struck with a brilliant idea for a book or an urge to do it, but have no writing experience at all.

Whatever stage you are at and how ever used to writing you are, actually making that move to start writing a novel is a huge commitment and often people can be at a loss not knowing where to start.

However, writing a novel, though hard work, doesn’t have to be an overwhelmingly complicated process. Follow these straightforward tips and not only will you find yourself clear on how to get started but also armed with the know how to finish it too. Here are some essential book writing tips for beginner writers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ufKpQuPVLE

First, what is your book about? Our books need to be about something. What’s yours about?Have a clear idea of your story, who your characters are, what’s going to happen in your book before you begin. Just a single idea won’t get you very far, so you need to sit down and work out the details before you start writing. If you don’t you might find your great idea doesn’t go anywhere.

Next, writing the chapter outlines. Once you have a clear idea of your story, write chapter outlines to give yourself a firm idea of what you are going to write. Chapter outlines will provide you with the confidence to know that your story has enough meat to turn it into a book.

Writing tips for beginners novelsNext, create deadlines. You need to set yourself realistic and achievable deadlines for writing your book. Break them down. It’s a manageable bite-size choice, to help make them feel less impossible. Figure out a rough workout total for your book. Sixty to eighty thousand words is about right for a first fiction novel, and then set a weekly word count goal that you know you can stick to.

Next, create a writing schedule. Once you know your deadlines, create a writing schedule that you know you can stick to. Be ambitious but don’t push yourself to the points where you can’t get the work done you only end up feeling disappointed and be more likely to give up writing. At the same time, in the same place can help you to create a routine and immerse in writing so it’s a part of your everyday life.

Next, get feedback before you finish. Don’t wait until you’ve painstakingly written the entire manuscript before you get anyone to look at it. They’ll likely come back with so many questions notes and comments that you’ll feel like you have to start it all over again. Someone who knows what they’re talking about and isn’t afraid to be critical to look at your work early on can make all the difference.

Tips for writing a book infoNext, learn about the publishing process. Decide whether you’re going to try to get an agent or publisher to take on your book or if you’re going to self publish and then dedicate some time to learning everything you can about the publishing process.

If you’re serious about your book becoming a success it’s important to know exactly where the opportunities lie and what you need to do to give your book the very best chance.

Next, don’t aim for perfection. Your book isn’t going to feel perfect when it’s finished, so don’t hold on to that idea of perfection and use it as an excuse to put your book in a drawer and forget about it.

If you don’t land a traditional publishing deal then you can self publish. Don’t spend all that time and energy on your book and not do anything with it at the end.

Our final tip is a write another one. Many writers don’t experience success the first time around. In fact many don’t experience it the second third or fourth time either. However, you’ll have learnt so much from writing the first book, now you owe it to yourself to take those lessons and write another even better one.

Writing a book does take time and dedication but it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Use these simple tips for beginners to get you started. Stay on track and see it through to the end and don’t forget, if you’re struggling to write or finish your book, our free writer’s tool kit can help with it.

You’ll learn how to overcome procrastination, get organized, stay focused, find time to write and finally, your book published. To get access now while it’s still available, simply go to writerslife.org/toolkit. Be sure to give us the thumbs up and subscribe to our channel for more. My name’s Peter and I’ll see you next time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYm6wf4Dqhc

Hello there, it’s Peter here again from Writer’sLive and coming up today – practical writing tips you can actually use.

There are so many different pieces of advice when it comes to writing. Some you’ll find useful, some you won’t. When it comes to writing tips, every writer is different and not all pieces of advice will be helpful to them or fit in with what they are trying to say or do.

Sometimes the most practical and straightforward advice is the best. These tips should resonate with all writers, give them food for thought and can apply to any kind of writing, so let’s take a look at them.

Novel writing tips guideFirst, say something. Whatever kind of writing you’re into, you need to have something to say. Take a step back and think about what your message is, what your point is what, you’re trying to get across.

What’s your confidence of that? You’ll have the essence of your story or article and can build everything else around that.

Next, use short sentences and simple language. It’s so tempting to show your readers what an enormous brain you have and to use all the big and smart words you know to demonstrate them but it’s important to realize that’s not the way to impress your readers.

Be inclusive. Keep things simple the most intelligent writing will be able to create an impression without making their readers reach for the dictionary.

Next, get detailed. Be specific and use detail to build a picture in your readers mind. The more clever and arresting information you include, the more readers will feel they know your characters and the world they live in.

Next, use the active voice. We know you’ve heard it all before but using the act voice makes your writing more present and readers have a better connection to the words. So try, where you can to, use the active voice at all times.

Tips for writing a book for beginners young authorsNext, break up your text. Even in fiction writing massive chunks of texts can make a readers eyes glaze lays over. If you’re writing a story, breakup text into short paragraphs and use dialogue.

Articles can be broken down into smaller chunks of text and devices such as a bullet lists and fact boxes can help too.

Next, don’t overwrite. Good writing is where a writer’s ego stays out of it. If you put your readers first and thinking about what they need to know and what will give them a better more meaningful understanding of what is going on, you’ll find the instances where you overwrite will really stand out. Stop rambling. Stop trying to sound smart and merely say what you are trying to say.

Next, become a brutal editor. Eliminate what you don’t need. Become eagle-eyed at spotting mistakes. Read your work through the eyes of a critical reader and remember to keep that ego at bay. These tips will help make your writing sharper, more accessible and more readable, so why not try applying them to your writing projects today?

Tips On How To Write A Novel The Right Way

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Greetings. My name is Carol Denbow and I’m the author of six books, including ‘A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story’. I’m also the editor of more than 10 websites online to help first-time and seasoned authors write and publish and market their books…

I’m not a publisher and I’m not here to sell you anything. I’m just simply here to help you keep your writing goals. Okay, so whether you’re writing a book for your personal use, for family and friends, or a book for resale, I try to help you get started.

Today, my suggestion is ‘write your book’. You’ve had it in your heart. You’ve had it in your mind for how long, and you haven’t sat down to read it yet. You clicked on this video because you want to know how to get started.

I’m going to try to help you with that right now. Okay, so whether you want to write a fiction book, a nonfiction, a fantasy, or mystery, autobiography – anything you want to write, I’m telling you now sit down and write it.

https://youtu.be/ifEILONyv4E

Tips On Writing A Book For The First Time

Video Transcript (Cont’d)

When you’re ready to sit down and write, don’t ever worry about editing. Don’t worry about misspelling words. Don’t worry about any of that kind of stuff – just write your book and get it in your keypad. Just keep on writing right till it’s done.

You’ve always wanted to do it and you’re never going to be satisfied till you have, or at least attempted it. Then you can say at least you tried to write a book, or maybe you’ll end up writing a book, and maybe you’ll be a best-seller.

I doubt it but it’s good to try. I got all these books on the wall behind me. In fact there’s another one- look that way over to the side – so I kind of know as I speak, hopefully have learned something through all this.

Creative writing tips for beginnersAnyway so let’s get started. All right. so you’re gonna write your book and don’t worry about editing. First of all notes. Find a quiet place to write, an extra bedroom office, or even garage. Anywhere away from any family or friends, kids whoever’s gonna interrupt you.

Okay, second – set time aside to write. Not ten minutes guys. Ten minutes you can’t even get focus. You can’t even get your juices flowing. Set aside two hours. Tell yourself every Monday ‘oh let’s see. I’m off on Monday. okay Monday. all right, the kids are in school perfect from 10:00 to noon. all right everybody I’ll sit down and I’ll focus’.

Hey, if you do, maybe you sit down and this it’s not working for you that time. That’s fine too. You’re supposed to enjoy your writing. Writing is healthy. Writing relieves stress. Trying to find your time to write – if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t – move on, the time will come again.

Okay next … choosing your book’s topic. Wow, I can’t even tell you how important this is, especially if you want to seek a publisher later. You write a book about cars and there are a million books written about cars. Let’s get creative. Let’s write something nobody’s written before.

Let’s give the publisher a reason to look and go ‘this person’s got a creative mind’. Okay so go by demand. Ask yourself these questions, and I’m going to refer to my notes – are there a million books which follow the path of your story or subject that’re already out there?

I wish well sure that we need one more – probably not. Okay next – is there even an audience out there who will buy your book? I don’t know if you’re writing about this wonderful dog that you had, and sad to say, the dog passed away.

Probably not going to find a lot of readers out there in the reading audience but you know, write it, feel good about writing it. You’ve done it, you’ve accomplished it. That’s great. If you want to get it out of there into the real market, it’s gonna have to be some demand.

 

Okay here’s a statistic you’ll really like. Every hour of every day, every day of every year including Christmas and New Year’s, 30 books are released in the US alone. That’s not even a world statistic, that’s just in the US.

Fiction writing tips guidanceThus, competition is fierce, just so you know. So if you plan to sell your book to the reading public, make sure folks that there’s going to be a market for that book, otherwise you may be wasting your energy, your time, okay?

So write your book. How do I start? How do I begin? I know what I want to write. Writing, it’s like a business and just like any business you need a business plan, right? The plan in this case it’s going to be the outline for your book.

I’m gonna read this right from here because I wrote it, and it just sounds better. Okay, a well drawn outline will help you focus on your total project outline, your story or information. For fiction book writing, an outline of your plot, when they introduce your characters is half of the story.

That is ‘what’s the beginning of the story, what’s the middle of the story and what’s the ending of the story’ all placed into chronological order. For non-fiction book writing the same applies. Organize your information into logical and useful order. Believe me, when you put down all your titles, your chapter titles, that’s a great way to start.

Short story writing tips adviceThen just fill in the blanks. It helps keep it all in order, so you don’t have to go back and start searching for where does this belong, where does that go. Okay – choosing your title. Oh this is always the fun part. I love picking titles for my books.This is always fun but not only is a catchy title a must for nonfiction and fiction books, but your title words will most likely be used as keywords when someone searches the internet for a book similar to yours.

Once your book’s complete find an editor … now you’re all done, now it is time to find professional editor. Gotta fix your boo-boos. Okay spellcheck – it’s only part of the problem. Spellcheck is not going to completely edit your manuscript, it’s gonna spellcheck – and even then a lot of times it’s gonna be wrong!

You need a higher professional editor first. Before you do, I suggest that you pre edit your book by reading it to yourself out loud. You are too familiar with your script to read it word by word. When you do that. What’s gonna happen is, you’re gonna miss them because you wrote it.

You’re skimming through. I just want to get this thing edited. I just want to get going. There’s one, move on, give it to somebody else. If someone is gonna be honest with you and show you your boo-boos and say ‘hey I don’t understand this part right here, this didn’t just doesn’t work for me or doesn’t make sense’, you need an honest opinion.

Story writing tips beginnersGet two get, three, get five and then send it off to a professional editor, which by the way is going to be about somewhere about 300 bucks for 150 page book. That’s probably a pretty good deal but I can’t I cannot express how important that is.

Okay next, there’s just obviously a lot more to this process that I’ve explained here and I do plan to make future videos on publishing – the process, query letters and marketing your book, which boy if you think writing is a job, when you get down to marketing!

Anyway, if you found this video helpful I’d really appreciate it if you could give me a little 5-star rating so that other new writers can find this video themselves. Okay, I also have a wonderful blog. As a writer and an author you would probably appreciate and get a lot of use out of it. It’s called a Book Inside Blog.

Carol’s Youtube Channel

Tips on how to write a novel pdf

Tips For Writing A Book For Beginners – Another Author’s Advice

https://youtu.be/tNhY34HcVwg

Video Transcript:

Hi guys – it’s Connie Glenn author with The Roads of Chronicles series. The first book Undercover princess is out now in hardback and paperback if you want to check it out. Today I’m gonna be talking to you guys about my 5 tips for getting into writing.

So it’s no secret that getting into writing and starting a book is incredibly daunting. People say to me ‘where do you even begin?’ So that is where we’re gonna start.

Tip number 1 – read as much as you can. This probably seems very obvious and it’s also probably the thing that you get told the most when you look for writing tips. That’s because it really is as helpful as people say it is. Read everything and start to get an idea of what excites you, what you feel passionate about, or even what you think is missing.

Tips on how to write a novel infoRead books, read short stories, read poetry read fan-fiction – just read everything you can and everything that you enjoy and start to pick up on the patterns. You will find that the more you read, the more you get an understanding of what it is that works in writing and what it is that doesn’t.

The best filmmakers watch lots of movies. The best artists consume a lot of art and the best writers do a lot of reading. Other people’s work can be the best inspiration and the best teacher.

Tip number two – keep notes. You never know when inspiration is going to strike you, so it’s a really good idea to have something with you at all times that you can make notes on, be that a bit of stationery or even the Notes app on your phone.

I very often get my best ideas when I’m out and about in the world, so I would just quickly get out my phone and make a note of whatever idea I’ve had so that I don’t lose it. Because there is nothing worse than having a good idea and losing it. I do try and bring a notebook with me wherever I go, but sometimes you forget.

Tip number three – start making a plan. This, in my opinion, is the most important part of writing and it’s the thing so many people overlook and don’t realise is as important as it is. Once you have an idea for a story you need to make a plan for it.

Tips for writing a book guidanceI personally write out five bullet points for every single chapter. These bullet points will dictate everything that needs to happen in that chapter as well as all of the subtext that needs to come across. For example, what information a character needs to know. How a character is going to be feeling.

How they’re going to be feeling at the end of the chapter, all of these things I need to make sure are coming across. I like to have them in a plan, so I can look back at that plan and make sure it has worked. This also gives you a great map of pacing and length because it shows you how long it’s taking for each plot point to happen.

So you can see that maybe this thing should be happening quicker. Maybe you don’t need as much time for that other plot point. All of these things can be sorted out in the plan before you start writing. This is also a good way to prevent writer’s block and shows you any problems that your story might have.

I would encourage you to make plans about everything – characters, locations, etc. Having a solid database of all your ideas is a great way of keeping motivated and also just keeping organized.

Tip number four – make time to write. It’s all well and good having all of your ideas and all of your plans but what about actually writing? Try and designate time every day or every week if you’re very busy, for getting a certain amount of words done.

Pro Writing tipsMy personal time guide follows the average length of my chapters. A regular chapter for me is about 2,000 words, so I try and write between 700 and a thousand words a day, which is approximately half a chapter, so my average chapter takes me about two to three days to finish. Sometimes I would write more but I always try and write at least that many words on a day that I’ve designated to writing.

My final tip, tip number five – kill your darlings. Once you have some chapters or even your whole story, it’s time for the hardest part and that is getting good at editing, and realizing when things in your story are not working. This was the most difficult thing for me to do as a writer but I promise it gets easier and easier.

The best way to get good at this is to share your work. Maybe join a creative writing class. This way you get encouragement as well as feedback. Sometimes you’ll need to take a break from your story, so you can come back to it with fresh eyes and see what wasn’t working.

Sometimes you will be able to see what isn’t working but won’t be ready to part with it yet, so you need to go away and come back when you’re less emotionally attached to that bit. I would also say that the more you plan, the less you will need to edit and get rid of and fix. Do not underestimate the power of a good plan.

That was my personal 5 tips on getting into writing and starting your first story. I hope it has been helpful for you and don’t forget that practice really does make perfect. Don’t get discouraged. If it gets hard just keep working at it and keep going, and don’t forget to plan. I’m gonna sing the praises of plans my whole life. A plan is the best way to write it. Best of luck to all of you on your writing journeys. Goodbye.

Connie’s Youtube Channel

Tips On Writing A Novel For The First Time – Beginner’s Tips

How to write a novel - tips on writing a novel for the first timeWriting a novel for beginners is a daunting task. In addition to the creative aspect, novel structure and style have to be learned or developed. Tips on writing a novel for the first time naturally come from professional authors who have gone through the process many times in the past.

Experienced authors know that there’s much more to it than sitting down with a blank page and somehow miraculously creating a masterpiece. In fact, that’s one of the tips given below. one author NEVER sits down with a blank page. He always carries a notebook full of ideas to develop.

These practical tips are gold-dust for new writers just beginning or thinking about planning to write their first novel. The first video features great tips from 11 authors who have published novels. The tips are relevant and useful for all writers at any level.

The second video (transcript only) outlines 7 tips for writing a novel for beginners. It contains advice on form, characters and a few useful guidelines about writing attractive and efficient prose – a must for telling a story that pulls the reader along.

Tips On Writing A Novel For Beginners

https://youtu.be/q_mlM8M00mw

My advice for a young writer – if you hang out with me I would have a lot of advice, although I would feel somewhat embarrassed about giving advice to the young writer. I think the most important advice I have is to have fun. That to try to create something that is fun to work on.

If you are having fun, really fun, not just kind of masturbatory fun, but actually you’ve gotten in you’ve gotten something going that is just fun, and fun in the sense of completely engaging fun. Like you’re on a tennis court. When you’re on tennis court, you’re not just messing around.

You’re not just like, you know, hitting the ball wherever you want. You are focused on having a game and if you once you are in it, you are having fun. That’s the kind of focused fun I’m talking about. If you are having that kind of focused fun, there’s a good chance that the reader will too.

tips for novel writingYou learn from models and you analyze them. You study them. You analyze them very closely, so one thing at a time. You don’t just sort of read the paragraph and say “oh that really flows, you know, that’s good.” You say “what kind of adjectives? How many, what kind of nouns?

How long are the sentences? What’s the rhythm? You know, you pick it apart, and that’s very helpful. The talent is the only thing that you cannot really learn in writing. You could learn all the tactics of writing.

You could learn all the schools different schools of writing but if you’re not talented, then you should not write. You’re probably not going to be very good at it. Your wife’s probably not going to support you. You’re probably going to have a drinking problem. You’re probably going to be frustrated.

If you have any children at all, and you’ll probably never make a penny. Another thing I would say is to be very patient. So, even patient with chaos. You know, you have this beginning and you’re just worried and unhappy, but I wouldn’t I wouldn’t worry too much.

tips for writing a fantasy novelI think it is a little chaotic. It’s not neat. You don’t start something and finish it like it’s perfect. It takes time. You are talented but you must know that the talent is not the end. It is just the beginning and you must keep the writing as the most important thing in your life.

Whenever you feel that the writing is not the most important thing in your life, you better stop writing, because you will never make any difference. Writing, if it works out, is such a long shot. The fact that I could have had a writing life for 46/47 years, this is ridiculous.

I’ve worked like a dog. It’s still ridiculous, so find something better . Remember this sentence – I tell them the secret to writing is to write, write, write, and write again. You will get it right. Yeah, that’s my universe or sort of advice to all writers.

If you can’t find anything better, if you try your best to target so far away, then maybe you have the hint of a vocation. When you put writing before any other thing, when you prefer writing to to money, to your friendship, to all pleasures of life, writing comes first. Not to believe it, to be an artist don’t to take yourself seriously. Don’t think that you are inspired.

 

tips for writing novel

 

You know that genius is a 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. When I was really young William Burroughs told me when I was really struggling. We never had any money and the advice that William gave me was “build a good name”, you know, keep your name clean.

Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work.

If you build a good name, eventually you know, that name will be its own currency. My advice to a young writer would be that he or she works with what he or she is made of. By that I mean that we should not be afraid of working with the things that fascinated us when we were at the most impressionable.

tips for writing a fiction novelIt might be music. It might be comic books. It might be a boy detective novel. It might be a Barbie doll, with certain princess dress or whatever. I think we are all informed by the things that fascinate us and excite us when we are quite young.

It helped me a great deal. Not everybody keeps a notebook, by any means. Some writers somehow keep it all in their heads and bring it out when they need it, but I always keep notebooks.

It makes sense. It takes some of the tension and the worry away, because if you write it down it, it may just be a note, it doesn’t have to be the beginning of anything and it also means that when you want to work on a piece of writing you can go back to the notebook.

I have this beginning or that idea in this, so it makes it more relaxing. I don’t ever start with a blank page. The advice is that you cannot become a general before a corporal, Seargent a lieutenant.

tips for writing a mystery novelGo step by step. I’m interested in how we encounter culture and most of us come to culture well first through the lullaby. You know, lullaby is theater music and literature. We become young adsorbers of culture through things which grown-ups do not see as culture.

We are always giving giving kids tools for storytelling. You know, toy soldiers, dolls. These are tools for storytelling, you know. Then you go to the cinema and you see a crazy action film, or you see a bad horror film by coincidence on the television and it excites you.

I’m interested in carrying on the cultural dialogue and that’s what I mean by not being afraid of what informed you. Don’t ever cave in to the pressure of publishers, you know, or agents who say “well you’ve written a nice book of stories but we need a novel now”.

If you’re ot a novel writer, don’t feel you have to write a novel. Do what you want to do and don’t worry if it’s a little odd or doesn’t fit the market. Don’t expect or don’t pretend immediately to receive the Nobel Prize because that kills every literary career.

Very few of us grow up in a castle and have private tutors who teaches Greek before noon and Latin in the afternoon. Then we take piano classes and learn about classical painting or something. All of us come to culture through different ways and there are so many people who are embarrassed about what excited them.

I mean, if you come to storytelling through the Spice Girls, that is how you got into storytelling, you know, and work with it. I see it all as a princess in the castle. You must prove your love many times, and then when the princess is convinced that you really love her, she will open the castle gates up to you.

 

Writer's Workshop Link - tips for writing a novel

7 Tips For writing Fiction Novels

(Video Transcript of  https://youtu.be/FHEAmAyMdG0)

Hi, my name is Kat and today I’m going to share seven tips to improve your writing. So these tips I’m about share with you focus on words.

We’re not talking about plot or character development or world building because I already made all those videos. Today we are focusing on prose, words, and sentences.

If a completed novel is a big-ass castle, today we are going to take a closer look at some of these bricks. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

tips for writing a novel for beginnersTip number one: show, don’t tell. This is one of those writing tips that gets thrown around a lot and I feel like a lot of people hear it and recite it but don’t really get it. First off, show don’t tell doesn’t apply it to everything. It mostly applies to emotions and senses.

Most emotion words, angry, excited, happy, sad, these are straight up telling. For example, the man stood up angrily. You’re telling us that he’s angry, but you’re not showing it. How is he angry? What does he do as he stands up that makes it obvious he is angry?

How about the man pushed himself out of the chair, his hands clenched into fists, the vein in his neck popping. That shows us he’s angry without using any words that mean angry. What I like to do is imagine my scenes as if they were in a movie.

In a movie there’s no narration of he was angry or she was frustrated. We as an audience ascertain these moods from the characters actions. From what they are doing not from what we are being told they feel.

Don’t tell me a character is excited, tell me that they’re bouncing up and down in their chair, smiling hugely and talking way too fast. Don’t just tell me a character is scared, show their fear through shallow breaths and tense shoulders and wide, alert eyes.

 

tips for writing first novel

 

Look through your manuscript for emotion words like this and try to find a better way to depict the emotion without saying it. Tip number two: use the active voice over the passive voice.

This is another tip that you might hear a lot. You might also hear kind of the shortcut version to this tip which is to avoid words that end in -ing and this is because those words are usually weaker than their more active counterparts.

He was standing at the front of the room is not as strong and direct as he stood at the front of the room. He was standing is passive. It sounds almost like it’s something happening to him whereas he stood is active, it’s him doing it.

Keep an eye out for use of the passive voice in your manuscript. You don’t have to delete every sentence that uses the passive voice but really consider if it could be improved by changing it to be more active.

tips for writing a romance novelTip number three: to be or not to be? This tip is related to the previous one about active and passive voices and this is about the to be verb in its different variations: is, am, are, was, were. To be verbs weaken sentences in a similar way that words that end in -ing do and in fact, they’re often paired together.

He was standing versus he stood. And again, you don’t have to avoid the use of these words completely, just be aware of your usage. Using the passive voice in writing is not always a negative thing. Consciously deciding to use it for a certain passage can actually work very well.

Say your character isn’t a very active or straightforward character at all. Maybe they’re very weak and passive characters and your use of passive writing helps capture that. There’s always exceptions.
I will never tell you don’t use the passive voice, you have to know when to use the passive voice and when to use the active voice.

Tip number four: verbs are better than adverbs. This is another tip you might be familiar with through its shortcut version which is to avoid words that end in -ly. Adverbs are the devil or so I’ve heard from many people giving writing advice.

tips for writing your first novelNow I don’t think adverbs are the devil but I do think a strong, descriptive verb is better than a more generic verb paired with an adverb. For example, let’s take the sentence, ‘She walked lazily across the room.’

This could be improved by replacing walked lazily with a single verb that captures that same intent. She strolled across the room, she meandered across the room, she ambled across the room, she wandered across the room. Many verb plus adverb combinations can be replaced with a single stronger verb.

Tip number five: no thinking. Speaking of strong verbs, you know what’s not included in that list? Any verb relating to thinking or realizing or remembering or knowing. There is a brilliant essay by Chuck Palahniuk which I will link in the description. Read it.

This is not recommended reading, this is required reading. Read it. And it all just ties back into you what I’ve been talking about here, showing versus telling and avoiding lazy writing. Don’t have a character just realize something. Present those facts to the reader so that we can realize it.

Tip number six: doubles are trouble. Sometimes word repetition can be used to great success, but more often than not using the same word multiple times in a short passage is just lazy writing. I read a fairly popular book a while ago that really abused this and it made me want to rip out my editing pen and just go to town.

 

novel writing tips for beginners

 

One particular moment that stands out is when I found four usages of the word arm over the course of two sentences and this isn’t a really terrible offense it’s just, it’s lazy writing. It’s something that happens a lot in early drafts.

You know you’ll have a character approach a door and then open the door and then walk through the door, but in revisions you have to get rid of some of those doors. Yes, it is tedious work trying to figure out how to reword these sentences, but you gotta do the work. Don’t be lazy, do the work.

And finally, tip number seven: choose wisely, young grasshopper. The overall theme for all of these tips is to be aware of every single word you write. Choose your words with care. As a writer you are making constant decisions. Be very intentional with your word choice and be ready to defend your choices if necessary.

If I flip to a random page in your manuscript and ask why you chose that verb in paragraph 2, I want you to be able to tell me your reasoning. If you don’t have any reasoning, if you haven’t thought about why that verb is the best choice or not, then you haven’t made a decision.

You’ve just fallen into something and yes, sometimes you might fall into something great without trying, but most of the time the perfect incarnation of that sentence or paragraph is going to require some thought, some work, some effort.

It’s going to require you to make a decision. I talked earlier about passive versus active and here it is again. Don’t be a passive writer, don’t just let things happen. Be an active writer, be making decisions.

Study a lot and read a lot and get really familiar with both good and bad writing because that’s what’s going to enable you to make the best decisions. All right, that is it. There you have it. Those are seven tips to help improve your writing.

I hope this video was helpful to you guys, I know a lot of you have been wanting more writing related videos lately so I’m trying to do that. But, you know, disclaimer, disclaimer, please remember I am NOT a professional in any sense of that word. I’m not even a published author so take everything I say with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila.

Just kidding, I hate salt with tequila. Just kidding again, I love salt with tequila. What was I talking about? But yeah, I will definitely be making more writing related videos, but please keep in mind that these take a lot longer for me to prepare.

I actually script these videos out a little bit because, you know, I want to sound at least kind of smart in them. And also again, just to reiterate I am not a professional. You can get some advice from me, but you should also get advice from a wide variety of sources.

Especially because doing your own research is really the best way to learn. Anyways, that is it for this video today so thank you very much for watching it. I hope you enjoyed it, I hope you have a great night and I will have another video soon so I will see you then.

 

Writer's Workshop Link - tips for writing a novel