The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Advice from Authors

A few days ago I found this wonderful blog post by an author called Steve Silberman trying to get advice on how to write a novel. He describes how his passion for writing started and what kind of book he is writing and that is fascinating and inspiring on its own but what was really great was the advice of 23 authors that he included after his blog post.
At the time I’m writing this I’m only half way through, but already I’ve seen some great advice! I’ll post some of my favorites here to give you a neat little selection and to help those who are too lazy to read the whole thing (it’s pretty long haha). However I do encourage you to read the entire blog post and I hope that it will be helpful to you!

Carl Zimmer
Be ready to amputate entire chapters. It will be painful.

David Shenk
Make it great, no matter how long it takes. There’s no such thing as too many drafts. There’s no such thing as too much time spent. As you well know, a great book can last forever. A great book can change a person’s life. A mediocre book is just commerce.”

“Let some of you come through. You’re obviously not writing a memoir here, but this book is still partly about you — the world you see, the way you think, the experiences you have with people. And trust me, readers are interested in who you are. So don’t be afraid to let bits and pieces of your personality and even life details seep into the text. It will breathe a lot of life into the book.”

 Ben Casnocha
“Develop a very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions. I use an app called Self-Control on my Mac.”
“Develop a very, very, very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions.”

 Cory Doctorow
“Write when the book sucks and it isn’t going anywhere. Just keep writing. It doesn’t suck. Your conscious is having a panic attack because it doesn’t believe your subconscious knows what it’s doing.”
Mark Frauenfelder
“Don’t forget to write the book that you want to read.” 

Josh Shenk

Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly.

And these are only a select view of the many advices given! Check them all out here:
I hope you enjoy reading it!
I’ll try to get a blog post up next week but I’m moving back to The Netherlands so I might not be able to make it.

What was your favourite tip? Or have your own tip you want to share? Leave a comment below! J Tell me what you thought!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writing support

We all know that writing a novel (or any kind of story) is incredibly fun—but also miserable work at times. Most of us experience periods where we just don’t feel like writing, have no ideas, think our characters seem fake, the plot too flawed and lose all confidence in our writing. What we need at times like those is a gentle push and encouragement to get us started again.

And that’s where writing support comes in. Writing becomes much easier and more enjoyable if you have someone who believes in you, encourages you and maybe even reads your work and gives you feedback from time to time.
For me my biggest support is my family who keeps believing in me and gives me advice and support. My parents read everything I ask them to, gave me a laptop for my writing and even allowed me to go to England for a year to improve my English! And my brother is always there to tell me to write (much needed lol) or talk about writing with me. I owe them a lot.

However some people don’t feel confident showing their family their work or have parents who are less interested in writing—or have some other reason not to have their family as support. Don’t worry! There are plenty of other places to get support and inspiration from! These days it’s mainly the internet. Though there are other places and people you can confide in!
Here are some:

·         Your friends 

Most of my friends love that I write and encourage me. However not all of them are that fond of reading themselves or reading my work. Don’t ever push anyone to read your work. They won’t enjoy it and it won’t help you! Some might give some great feedback however or give you that ego boost you might need at times by telling you they love your writing or admire what you’re doing. Having your friends’ support you is great and make sure you keep them updated on your projects but don’t talk about it all the time and bore them to death! ;-)

               Your teacher
Personally this hasn’t really worked for me. I’ve had a lot of teachers who found it fascinating what I did and told me they loved that I want to become a published writer, but most of the time it stops there. Remember that they’re just your teachers and they’re pretty busy so don’t get upset if they don’t have time to read your work! It might be nice to mention what you’re doing however and especially literature teachers will find it fascinating most of the time and can support you!

·         A writers group

I’m not really an expert on writers group, seeing as I’m not in one (writing in English while living in Holland isn’t common enough for there to be groups ) but I’ve heard that there are a lot and with some searching you might find one close by! I’d really recommend trying it out, don’t be scared to share! Even if you don’t want to share your work, hearing about the work of others and just having the same passion for writing can be stimulating enough!

·         Book club

If there isn’t a writers group, I’m certain there is a book group somewhere nearby! And although it’s about reading and not writing, they are essentially your public and who is better at criticism and support than someone who loves reading?

Then there are more places on the internet:

·         Blogs

There are a lot of blogs that revolve around the theme of writing, mine being one of them. Blogs are a great way to meet more people who are interested in the same thing as you are; writing! Don’t be shy and leave comments and interact with other people. Open up about your writing and find support and encouragement to continue! J

·         Twitter

I’ve met some great friends on twitter and seeing as it’s one of my favorite ways to procrastinate, it helps me a lot. If I’m on twitter talking about how I should really be writing it helps if a follower comments “Just do it then!” or something of the sorts. It’s also fun to see the progress of others and get inspired by their dedication! You can follow me on twitter as well! Just push the little twitter button at the top right corner ;-)


This is a site about books where you can look up books and writers and people's opinion about it, but also to digitize your library and everything you've read till now. It's a great place to meet people who read the same books that you do and on the forums you can find great friends and fellow writers! I really recommend it! 

·         Nanowrimo

I’ve only done it for one year but I LOVED it. I’m the kind of person who works well under a time limit and I must say that having a daily amount of words that you “have” to do really worked for me. Plus I found some great friends on the forums and added them on twitter as well and we stimulated each other to make it to the end! You can see each other’s word count as well and can compete to win first! See my NaNoWriMo blog post for more info. They’re having a summer special this year as well! More on that later!

·         Forums

Like I said above, forums can be great places to find fellow writers and talk about your writing or maybe even posting a bit of your work!

·         Etc.
There are so many places online to find support. All you need to do is go out there and find them! Good luck! Just one warning: be careful who you show your work too. Never show / send everything, only small pieces. And make sure you can trust them. It doesn’t happen often but someone can run off with your work so keep a cautious eye out J. Don’t post too much (aka the entire thing) online either or publishers may be less inclined to publish it!

So tell me, where do you get your support from?
Please leave a comment guys!! I’d love that!
Thanks for reading! Sorry it was a bit of a long one ^^"

Keep Writing!

Xx LordKiwii