It's Day 6!
Question 6: Tell Us Your Writing Advice?
The best advice I ever got was to just keep writing. I am a total pantser, and go off the cuff a lot. Probably too much! An author friend of mine who took me under her wing when I started two years ago told me to just let my characters tell the story.
Keep writing and always striving to expand your writing comfort zone. Period. Enough said. My ritual is to have something to drink and ass in chair, with my two favorite guys in front of me, cheering me on—Sam and Dean Winchester—in Funko Pop form. I’ve always had a thing for the paranormal, verified by my love of the series verifies, and my ability as a clairsentient and clairalience when it comes to seeing, sensing, and smelling ghosts.
Sit down and write, even if it’s just for practice at first. If writing is your passion and you have stories to tell, then go ahead and tell them. As far as rituals go, sometimes I like to listen to music before I sit down and write. Music inspires me. I get lost in the visuals of a scene I am working on and then the words just flow.
Get yourself a good workshop or writing community, because I don’t think a person can’t improve in the vacuum of their own mind. Every time I move (8 apartments in as many years) I seek out the local writers’ groups or start a new one. Especially in November, April, and July when comes around. I can credit so many good habits and good friends to National Novel Writing Month.
Personally, I’m a plotter. I write all my notes out first, then fill in the blanks (first draft), then re-type the entire manuscript (second draft) until it makes good sense (third draft), cut all the stupid words (fourth draft), then read it out loud (fifth draft). Then hate myself and go back to re-typing the damned thing and do it all again until the day before the submission deadline.
No rituals as such. But, you could count the fact that I always have tea when I first start writing, and that I like to play old DVDs as background noise. Unlike many other writers, music distracts me. The advantage of old and familiar DVDs is that I can take a break from writing and know exactly where I am in the film or program that’s playing.
Honestly? Be a reader. You can’t be a writer without first being a reader. And I love Stephen King’s advice in his book, : “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” (Meaning, the first draft is for you but once you’ve polished it to the best of your ability, it’s for everyone else.)