Writing is hard work, don't let anyone tell you differently, but the satisfaction you get from finishing is only surpassed by a positive review from an outside party.
Now I have reached the editing stage, and whilst not professing to be anywhere near an expert, I feel I can pass on a few pointers to budding writers that I have learnt the hard way through the process, which I hope may be of interest.
- Persistence defeats Resistance - To finish a book takes a lot of determination; if you aren't that type of person then do yourself a favour now and don't bother starting! You need to keep at it, each and every chance you get otherwise it will merely add to the growing list of dreams you have failed to achieve in life. Don't stop!
- Believe in yourself - It is so easy to be put off by people who have no understanding of the writing world, or that you have that particular skill, characteristic or artistic flair within you. I strongly believe everything has a book in them, but most are defeated by fear, doubt and a lack of confidence before they start their writing career. Remember everyone has to start somewhere and there is no reason you can not do this!
- Don't strive to be someone else or copy their style - you need to be the best you that you can, not a pale copy of a Tolkein, King or Rowling. Develop your own style, if there is no one else out there like you then this is a good thing! You will find people out there who enjoy your style, and this will make it all worth it.
- Read as much as possible - especially from other 'indie' authors. Good writing is derivative. Absorb as much as you can.
- When writing your main characters make sure you make them 'real' to the reader so they can relate - Do they have a fear or insecurity? Greedy or selfish tendencies or perhaps they are slightly paranoid? Think about every aspect of them as real people, as this will add layers to your characters and enhance your story.
- When describing locations and scenery remember to use all 5 senses and not just rely on sight - what does the location smell like? Is it warm or cold?
- Watch out for weak verbs, and avoid using 'was' or words beginning with 'some' - these are lazy - research into stronger words and improve your vocabulary. Same goes for very, quite, things, quickly, really, just or obviously - if you see them then take them out!
- Expect the first draft to be rubbish - to start with just write, the editing stage is when you polish your work and turn it into a masterpiece. Don't expect perfection straight away.
- Remember you will need critics as well as supporters through this writing journey; supporters will lift you and ignite your love for writing, but critics are equally as important as they will ensure you strive to be the best you can. Embrace both equally.
- Enjoy it! Because if you don't, then what is the point?