Think about it. What could the #1 writing tip be? Interrogate yourself. Dig deep. Why are you really writing? Perhaps you want to impress your family and friends? Perhaps you want to show off how smart you are? Or maybe you want the prestige of being able to call yourself an author? Or, best of all, you love it.
Are these valid reasons to write? Hell, no (except for the last reason). But don’t get me wrong, they are all great motivators. The trick is not to let your motivation shine through the pages of your book. People read to be entertained, not to entertain your dreams.
For one, you can’t sustain the passion you need to tell and finish a readable story. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read my WIP. Hey, I could have sex with it, I know it that intimately. And like every love story, I find something I love about my WIP every time I touch it. There is no divorcing it, no walking away from it. I’m in for the long haul. Sure, there are moments I’d rather pull teeth. That’s because I’m in a book-relationship.
I can hear you saying … “that’s me too.” Well, great! You’re on the way. Now do the time 🙂
I ask you again, why are you writing?
What’s that #1 one writing tip?
We all want to write a good story. That’s a given. But in fulfilling that desire, we are in danger of losing sight of the end of the rainbow. How can a story be good if it’s only read by three hundred people? If sales don’t reach that number or a similar number, word of mouth isn’t weaving it’s elusive magic. A magic that says, “hey, buy this book. It’s really good.”
Everyone is frantically busy these days, they don’t have the time to read a book that doesn’t deliver (or money to spare to drop into an author-charity bin).
So, what does a low number tell you? It tells you something isn’t working. And that’s perfectly okay. Just don’t give up. Start the next book.
If you’ve written what you think is a good book, the proof of whether it’s marketable, is in the sales. Now, perhaps, like me, you’ve written in a very niche market and therefore lower sales are expected. That should be the litmus test for your book – do you have the sales what an average author expects from their market?
There are tips out there on how to improve your grammar, your voice, on show not tell and countless other scalpels available in an author’s toolbox. To get ahead of what may not be working in your book, educate yourself. Use those tips.
And the single most important piece of writing advice? Write for your reader. Not just any reader, but your reader. Know who they are and how to elicit a reaction from them. Know what kind of reaction or impression you want from them. Get excited about it. Love what you create, even the stuff that needs work, because we only get to the good stuff if we keep trying. So keep trying.