Fundamentals of Fiction Category
I’m going to throw down the word right away: Perseverance.
That’s it. Nothing fancy. But within those twelve letters is a key difference between failure and success in writing.
Perseverance isn’t a popular word, because it often means dealing with rejection, difficulties, days when you just don’t feel like it, and other setbacks that happen in the course of making a writing career.
One of the ways I learn about various ways that things work (and don’t work) for people is reading success stories. And while many clickbait articles like to put forth that a certain person is just a rockstar superhero of amazing prowess, what it often comes down to is perseverance. [...]
There are a lot of revision checklists and guides out there. Just typing the words into a search engine will yield plenty of people with opinions about what you should and shouldn’t cut–and there are a ton of variables. Genre conventions, audience expectations, and use of voice are just a few items that can alter how you revise a story. Therefore, I don’t generally adhere to a certain revision checklist.
What I do adhere to is a content check. Out of everything you do for a manuscript, getting content locked down is the one area where your unique ability to tell a story shines through. A good proofreader can catch your typos. A good line editor can shred your grammar and sentence structure. A good content editor can pinpoint story issues. [...]
Drafting ultimately is up to you. The writer.
You can read all the writing craft books you want, but ultimately, your writing process is unique to you. And that is 100% okay.
There are plenty of books to teach you the “winning way.” Trust me, I’ve read through a ton of them. I’m a massive improvement junkie who is always eager to learn new ways of doing things.
Crank out 5,000 words an hour! No, wait! Five pages a day. How about the “write something every day” method? Surely that works? But what about on days when there’s a death in the family, or you’re revisiting your lunch in the bathroom, or you just can’t find the words? Do you just force it? Maybe not. Maybe you should just slow down. Maybe you should outline more. Maybe you should– [...]
I have a confession: I used to write stories without any structure. At all. Granted, I was a teenager writing for play-by-post RPGs, so the structure was mostly a free-form (and sometimes free-for-all) game of “what crazy thing can happen next?” This made for fun times and fantastic characters, but not for lasting stories. Since that time over a decade ago, I’ve sought to rectify this shortage of plotting knowledge, and in doing so, the student has become a wiser master-student who wants to pass along all of the information she’s learned! [...]