Look, I was—and still am, for the most part—a new writer. I’m not trying to say that being green here is a bad thing, because it’s not. It’s a time of huge growth and it can be one of the most exciting parts of being a writer, because everything is so shiny and fascinating. But I made a lot of mistakes as a new writer, some of them good and some of them bad, and I’d like to offer this post as a cheat sheet for everyone in my place.
Maybe you’re not “good enough” to become a New York Times bestseller. Maybe you’ll never get published. But writing doesn’t have to be about those things. You can just write for yourself. If you have something you want to write, be it an epic fantasy novel or a short fanfiction, do it. You don’t have to be the next Shakespeare or John Green or [insert idol here]. You don’t have to write for anyone but yourself. If it makes you happy, that’s all you need.Read more "4 Dangerous Lies People Tell About Writing"
I’ve learned a few things over the years that have helped me become a better writer. Here are six of them.Read more "6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Writing"
About a month ago, I wrote a masterpost of all my writing-related blog posts, and then decided to put together a list of links from others that have helped me become a better writer as well. Since my ‘writing’ bookmark folder is huge, that masterlist of links ended up being split into two parts, the first […]Read more "Writing Advice Masterpost Part 2: Revising, Editing and Querying"
A couple weeks ago I promised a list of all the writing resources I’ve come across that have helped me become a better writer. I hope these links can help you as much as they’ve helped me.Read more "Writing Advice Masterpost Part 1: Plotting, Characters and World-Building"
Look, editing is hard. I’ve said it many, many times. When you’re starting, it can be incredibly confusing. One person tells you to do this, and another tells you oh God no. Do this. Do that. It’s hard. I can’t tell you what’s right for your story, but as far as I can tell, there […]Read more "The Editing Style Guide"
A lot of revision advice goes back to this: print out your novel. Grab a red pen and park yourself in a chair and write out painstaking notes between the lines and in the margins. It’s the best way, they say. Meanwhile, you whimper at the cost of printing out all that paper, or the […]Read more "Pro-Tip: Read Your Manuscript in iBooks"
A couple of weeks ago, I watched the 2015 Disney/Pixar film Inside Out with my parents. I really enjoyed it, because not only was it poignant and realistic in terms of emotions and feelings, it was also incredibly funny at parts. But one of the things that interested me the most was how they talked […]Read more "Character Questions: ‘Inside Out’ Style"
So we’ve done all the messy stuff, all the major structural surgery. Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty—polishing off that revision. Treat it like a second revision. Save it under a new file name. Change the font. Print it out, if you can. Think on a word- and sentence-level. Though the big […]Read more "The Final Polish: Alex’s Guide to Revision Part 4"
So we’ve covered all that annoying pre-revision stuff and how to revise your characters. Now, it’s time to move on to what you’ve been waiting for—starting that revision. Ready? You’ve let your manuscript sit for a few weeks minimum? Changed the font? Read it through? Okay. Let’s get started.Read more "Take Apart Those Sentences: Alex’s Guide to Revision Part 3"