This may sound quite obvious but to write a book you have to write! It is the best advise I can give you. So many people say they want to write a book and have a storyline but they don’t ever get round to writing it. If you are passionate about writing a book and take in all the tips I’ve written, it’s all pointless if you don’t put a pen to paper or fingers to keys and actually write your book. The amount you write and when you write is up to you. Some authors say that to be a successful author you have to write everyday, personally I would find that rather challenging. Other authors write for eight hours a day, again, that is impossible for most. Some authors write on a night, some on a morning, it’s depends on what feels best for you, as long as you write and you keep on writing. If you’re finding it difficult, set yourself a realistic amount of hours you could write for each week and stick to it.
Know your characters. I know that you invented the characters but you need to know their background and why they do the things they do and how they are in the situation they are in. Even though a lot of the background information about your characters will never be written in the book, I believe it’s the key to a great character, good or bad. Also, try not to change a character too much, keep their personality constant the whole way through, unless of course something major has happened which is why they have changed. But also bear in mind that no character is wholly good or bad, to give a character substance, they need to have human qualities and no one is perfect. Plus, every character needs to have a purpose in a story, there are so many books I’ve read that have pointless characters that add nothing to the book. I’m not saying to limit the amount of characters – but be realistic of how many a reader can remember – but make sure every charcter adds something special. Don’t be afraid to edit out or add in a character once you’ve finished writing.
8. Enjoy it
Writing is not a job and if your main reason for writing is the hope of earning some quick cash then you will be seriously disappointed. But that is not to say you won’t eventually make money from it – I hope to one day. Every author dreams of becoming the next J.K. Rowling, but that is not why I write. I love writing, I love creating stories and I love playing mind games with my readers. I write because I enjoy it. Personally, I don’t understand how anyone cannot be a writer … it must be so boring living in just one world!
9. Narrative and dialogue
You don’t want your book to be the narrative telling the reader everything. Dialogue is vital, characters interacting with each other is how the reader understands your characters and comes to love and hate them. For me, conversations between characters are the best part to write and the thoughts and body language described within conversations are what you need for readers to get attached to characters. The narrative too has to be captivating and try to write like it is happening now, even if your book is in the past tense. You are telling a story while it’s happening, not as it has already happened. Descriptions are vital in the narrative but you’ve also got to leave some of it to the readers imagination. I don’t like describing the way a character looks in too much detail if I don’t need to because each reader pictures the character differently. When I read a book, if I imagine a character to have brown hair and the author tells me it’s blonde, I still picture the character to have brown hair. But I’ve read brilliant scenery descriptions that are almost poetic and they give the reader an image that can be built on.
10. Dont give up
I know so many people who’ve started books and never finished them. Writers block happens, I’ve had it. If you’ve ran out of ideas keep coming back to the book, read over what you’ve done and jot down notes or make a mind-map of what could happen next and where you want your book to go. Try and keep focused on your book and if you do get bored then maybe writing isn’t for you. But if you do want to write a book, stick at it and you will get there eventually. It does take time.
One final handy tip, purchase a thesaurus! It is a writer’s bible and a must have for any author.