Thursday, April 28, 2011

In which I post someone else's tips because they are full of awesome

(Don't worry, last five commandments of creating characters who don't totally suck is coming...I only have two more in my draft!)

I found this on a blog somewhere and thought I would share because it's cool.

Seven Steps to Writing – and Finishing – Your Novel, by William Bernhardt

1. Develop commitment. Getting started is the hardest part. Establish a writing schedule and stick to it. Find the time!

2. Build up your premise. In one sentence, what is your book about? Explain what it’s about in a way that makes people want to read it.

3. Write what you like! Write in the genre(s) you like and read yourself.

4. Allow yourself to write a lousy first draft. Just write it! Let yourself just finish the book. Then you can worry about editing, revising, etc. Don’t spend a lot of time revising and perfecting as you go along – you may end up deleting that whole chapter later!

“Writing is rewriting.” Michener: “I’m not a very good writer, but I am a good rewriter." Amateurs fall in love with every word they write.

5. Eliminate bad habits: tobacco, alcohol, drugs. Start an exercise routine to increase your stamina – it will also make you smarter. Try meditation.

6. Understand that writing is hard, and don’t get discouraged about it. Samuel Johnson: “What is written without effort is generally read without pleasure.”

7. Be brave. The secret of getting published: “Don’t give up.” You cannot lose if you won’t fail. Keep learning, revising, attending workshops.


I like number four the best, because it is the hardest for me (but what does he mean in number five, eliminate alcohol?! That really doesn't make any sense...)

Sidebar: I've noticed there's been a jump in my followers! Okay, so maybe most people wouldn't get excited about having 15 whole people following their blog, however I am not most people.

Therefore, in honor of all fifteen of my followers, I am going to have a contest next week where I shall give away a book about writing. I haven't decided what book I am giving out. The only one I have right now on my book shelf is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Publishing, which is a great book, but the edition is from like ten years ago which means they are probably recommending you write about vampires which we all know right now is a BAD DECISION.

So I will go shopping this weekend and pick out something fabulous! Stay tuned next week for some details on what you need to do to win! :)


  1. Yay on the contest! Oh, and BTW, I'm w/you on the what's up w/the alcohol? I write very well while snuggled up to my one glass of red wine each night, thank you! LOL

    But, #6 is GENIUS, and I'm totally going to print that off and put it on my wall for inspiration. It's so true. The words that give us the most pain to write, are often the ones with the most passion. Hmm.

  2. Hi! I am one of your new followers. I found you and read your treatise on why it's all fun and games and thought we might have something in common! I wrote my first novel over a course of three years. It sucked and I threw out like 70% of it and rewrote and la la la and now I'm selling it in the Kindle store. I want you to finish yours and sell it there too! Or get an agent, either's good. I am still trying to get an agent as well, with a different manuscript that I've written. :)

    ANYWAY, so there's that. Hello!

  3. I gave you an award in thanks for all your helpful tips here on this blog. Come and get it!

  4. Anita - I swear we are soul sisters. I wrote this blog while drinking a glass of wine!

    Hi Lyndie! It's wonderful to meet new writers, we are all in this together! Good luck on your journey, I will try and find you in the Kindle store :)

    Jenny - THANK YOU! I feel so cool right now,(really, I'm not cool at all, biggest nerd ever) and I've been glowing all day and gushing about my blog award to anyone who will listen. (It's not a bad sign when their eyes get all shifty and they bolt at the first possible opportunity, right?)


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