Write. Edit. Publish.
Ta-da! End of article! Kidding, I’m kidding. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. Sure, in its stripped down form, yes, that’s the process. But when you break it alllll down into its steps, it’s a wee bit more complex.
Let’s start with the obvious. You need to have a story to tell. Then, within the context of that story, you need to have all the elements of a story (learn more HERE) to make it worth reading. There are eight of them:
Here’s the deal. You cannot have a story (a good one) without these elements. The good news is this: you already know this. Maybe you can’t rattle all eight off the top of your head but you do instinctively know it.
How do I know you know (that I know, that you…)? It’s a safe bet that you’ve read some books and watched some television shows & movies. You understand the flow of each – There are people (characters) in a place (setting) who have to do a thing (plot). The story is told (shown) through the eyes of___ (POV) and it’s a comedy/drama/mystery (theme). Tone and style give you an overall understanding of the story – how they dress & talk, time period.
See? You know all this already! Now, you need to understand the “rules” of writing. Good news again! You don’t have to be a perfect anything. There’s help for that (my fave writer’s helper is Pro-Writing Aid) in many forms. However, learning the rules can only benefit you. A great place to start is by reading the Elements of Style.
And there is still more to determine before you write. (I mean, sure, you can start without knowing these things, but your task will be harder and you have a lot of backtracking to do.)
What kind of writer are you? A pantser? A plotter? Maybe a hybrid? Pantsers just sit down and write, letting the story “tell itself” while plotters will outline, plan, and map out their story (see different ways HERE)
Where & when do you do your best thinking/writing? In a crowded place like a coffee shop or park? In an office setting? A library? You favorite chair?
What time of day works best for you, creatively and lifestyle-wise? Morning, evening… mid day?
It’s okay if you’re not sure. Take your time trying out different locations, times and styles to see what works best for you. Then be consistent. Routine may sound like a creativity killer, but I promise you, it is an excellent way to keep yourself on track to accomplishing your writing goals.
The above are your absolute best practice techniques for working toward becoming an author. By doing so, you’re making a commitment to yourself to treat this thing you’ve been calling a dream or a wish, into a reality. No one is going to make you sit down and write. No one is going to carve out time for you. Be the one who takes you seriously enough to turn the dream/wish into a goal.
You’re the only one who can convince yourself that what you’re writing is worthy. Don’t hinge your value on someone’s else’s opinion. Take a leap of faith in yourself, find your tribe, and put people in your corner that will root for you, applaud your goals and successes, and push you to do your best work.
Oh, and hell yes, I’ll be that person for you. It’s kind of my thing. If you feel like you need a coach & cheerleader by your side, let’s talk.
*For more detailed definitions on some of the writing terms in this article, click HERE
Elsa Kurt is a multi-genre, traditionally & self-published author of over twenty-five books. She is also a speaker and creator of Path To Authorship, coaching for new and aspiring authors. Thanks to her fabulous ADHD, she also designs several apparel lines, took up roller skating, and is pressuring her long-suffering husband for a fourth dog. For more tips, insights, and observations on the author’s life, visit Elsa HERE. For all of Elsa’s links, visit HERE.
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