While some writers have had a desire to write from the time they were children, and seem to show an aptitude this direction, writing is a skill that can be taught.
There are many books, videos, classes, webinars, and more that can teach you whatever it is that you feel you need to learn. There are other writers who will share what they know and there are tools that can help you accomplish your writing goals.
Pay attention to the extras on the sites of authors whose work you enjoy reading. These writers will often have links, resources and tips they freely share.
I’ll share some tips I’ve learned and then link to other sites that can help.
1. Imagination. If you’re going to write creative fiction, you need ideas. Ideas come from all around you. Your life. The lives of family members or friends. The world around you.
2. Get the story down. Many writers wait to start writing until they feel everything about story is perfect. Perfect stories are never written.
3. Plotter or Pantser? There’s a debate on whether it’s good to be a plotter or a pantser when you write. The solution is simple. Do what works for you.
4. Edit. It’s helpful to have beta readers, a critique partner, or a critique circle. You’re too close to your own writing. You won’t see your mistakes. You can find others to help you with editing in your writing groups, in organized editing groups, or you can pay for a professional service.
5. Submit. After the manuscript is written, edited and polished, send it out. You’ll probably get a rejection or several rejections. This is something that plenty of writers go through and this is where perseverance kicks in.
If you want it badly enough, you’ll keep trying regardless of the rejections you receive. Always check out potential publishers or agents. Unfortunately, there are some out there who will take advantage of writers. You can check them out on sites like Absolute Write Forums or Preditors & Editors.
New York times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump has a long history of giving back to other writers. She has a writing institute you can access here.
Author Vicki Hinze has great tips on her writer’s zone.
- Finding Your Writer’s Voice by Thaisa Frank & Dorothy Wall
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham
- Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon
- The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Other recommended stuff for writers:
Scrivener is a software program that has a ton of features for writers.
Webucator is currently offering a free course in Excel. Some writers use Excel as their spreadsheet to keep track of various points in their manuscript. You need to know how to use all the helpful tools in Microsoft Word. They also offer courses in Microsoft Word and other goodies. They give away a free class each month, so watch for it.
Write or Die helps with writer’s block.
NaNoWriMo is a creative writing event that many writers take part in. It helps writers to push past the inner critic and get the manuscript written.