Today’s Tip: Revision
Every author’s gotta go back to revise their story. You can’t expect your novel to be the perfect bestseller on the first try. If it is, OMG TELL ME YOUR SECRET. MUST. HAVE. I know it’s a pain to go through all of that hard work only to go through it again. But trust me, this time it’ll be easier.
What: going back through your story and making changes if necessary
When: once you’re done writing your story
Where: beginning, middle, end, all of it
Why: to check for any irrelevant details, grammar issues, spelling, etc.
How: Simple. Once you’re finished with your novel, go back and read it again. I find it best if you read your story like you would normally read the work of another author. That way, you’re looking through the reader’s eyes and will know what the reader wants and what the reader finds annoying or repetitive. Feel the reader, be the reader, the reader is within you. Look for anything you can change, like boring long paragraphs, grammar that doesn’t make sense, big vocabulary that no one understands, details that are confusing, or too much repetition of the same thing over and over again, whether it be a certain scene or a certain action. Remember, always keep your reader hooked because once they put your book down, there’s no guarantee they’ll pick it up again.
Activity: Write different versions of you story. You can alter the beginning, middle, end, or all of it. Be careful not to change the main plot of your story.
Today’s Tip: Writer’s Block Again
I know I’ve talked about this somewhere in my earlier tips. We can never get rid of writer’s block. It just something that comes with. Every writer is afraid of it and often, writers succumb to it. It’s dangerous, it’s discouraging, and it’s a writer’s worst enemy.
Who: Writer’s Block
What: a time when writers run out of ideas or are stuck on one part of a story
When: you lose the essential “sense of direction”
Where: anywhere in the story, often between the beginning and the middle.
Why: to discourage writers from finishing their future novels
How: How do you overcome it? I actually don’t know. I’ve tried a bunch of different methods. Sometimes, when I meet writer’s block, I stop writing for a few days and then come back to the story. I would’ve collected ideas by then. Other times, I set the story aside and forget about it. That’s the option I fear the most, not being able to finish something I started. Often, it’s because I’ve thought of a new, maybe “better” story to write about and the old one just loses its interest. So how do you keep writing? It depends on what kind of writer you are. If you want to take a break, then take a break, but please please please don’t forget about your story. If you want to continue, then you can try asking yourself multiple questions. What is the character thinking? What are the other characters thinking? Is now the time for the archnemesis to appear? Try your best to keep writing. Just know that you’re not the only one who’s battling writer’s block.
Activity: Jot down a list of every little idea that comes to mind. When you think you’ve got enough, incorporate them into your story. Also, before writing a chapter, take note of which direction the chapter will take your characters and KEEP IT IN MIND. Do not lose track or you will get lost.
Today’s Tip: Ending
Well, we’ve talked a lot about beginnings. Now let’s explore the endings. Endings are just as important as beginnings, if not more crucial. For a series, the ending of one book determines whether or not the reader will read the next one.
What: how the story finishes
Where: at the end
When: at the end to sum up the story or leave a cliffhanger
Why: to give your story an end and for the reader to want to read more
How: All the rising actions, falling actions, and the climax are somehow connected to the ending. They’re actually what make the ending the end. Everything that happened in the story builds up to that one moment, then settles into the finish line. For a story to have a good ending, it must have good events. Give a nice twist, but not too much that you leave the reader complaining. Remember, your characters change along with the story, so by the time readers are at the end, the characters shouldn’t be the same as the ones at the beginning. The ending is also a time for resolutions and for some problems to be solved- in a series, not all the truths are revealed and the characters (and readers) still have questions. That’s a cliffhanger.
Activity: Read the first chapter of a book. Then predict how it will end. Skip to the last chapter and read it. Was your prediction correct? Did the characters seem to change? If you want to, write the events that lead to the ending without reading the book.