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Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn't matter how "real" your story is, or how "made up": what matters is its necessity. Why not? The thing that annoys this weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it.

Word Choice in English Composition and Literature

Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. And no one had to die. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else.


It makes you more free. Substituting "then" is the lazy or tone-deaf writer's non-solution to the problem of too many "ands" on the page. I still blush when I come across it.

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Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn't spin a bit of magic, it's missing something. Cut until you can cut no more. What is left often springs into life. Don't let anything else interfere. Not everything needs to be explained. If you really know something, and breathe life into it, they'll know it too.

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Read it pretending you've never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.

Language and style

Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving. That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.

Do you have what it takes to become a published author?

So write your story as it needs to be written. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter. They may not be what you want to end up doing but you have to master them in the meanwhile.

12.1 Revision

You can choose to be understood, or you can choose not to. Words are the raw material of our craft. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style. Nothing that happens to a writer — however happy, however tragic — is ever wasted.

However, don't automatically give them charge of your brain, or anything else — they might be bitter, twisted, burned-out, manipulative, or just not very like you. Remember you don't know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life — and maybe even please a few strangers. You can, of course, steal stories and attributes from family and friends, fill in filecards after lovemaking and so forth. It might be better to celebrate those you love — and love itself — by writing in such a way that everyone keeps their privacy and dignity intact.

Organisations, institutions and individuals will often think they know best about your work — especially if they are paying you. When you genuinely believe their decisions would damage your work — walk away.

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Run away. The money doesn't matter that much. No amount of self-inflicted misery, altered states, black pullovers or being publicly obnoxious will ever add up to your being a writer. Writers write. On you go. As much as you can. And the good things will make you remember them, so you won't need to take notes.

Too much fear and all you'll get is silence. It wouldn't be worth it if you didn't. If the love fades, do what you need to and get it back. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on. Read the second part of the article here. Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. Diana Athill 1 Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out — they can be got right only by ear.

Margaret Atwood 1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pain is distracting. Helen Dunmore 1 Finish the day's writing when you still want to continue. Geoff Dyer 1 Never worry about the commercial possibilities of a project. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire. Anne Enright 1 The first 12 years are the worst. Richard Ford 1 Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer's a good idea. Your judgment's always tainted. No one cares. Jonathan Franzen 1 The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.

Esther Freud 1 Cut out the metaphors and similes. Discipline is the key. Neil Gaiman 1 Write.

Find the right word, put it down. In fact, many prolific writers cut down on their reading—at least temporarily—in order to give themselves enough time to write. Your writing style and voice is your own. And the best way to discover your own natural writing voice is by sitting down and writing not reading what others have written. A lot of people get tripped up on this. A draft is a work-in-progress, and the goal is simply to get it on paper.

Even experienced professional writers who finished a book that ended up covered in the red pen of an editor or numerous red changes in a document, just like the one pictured below. If it works for a multi-billion-dollar company, it should work for your first self-published book. But shedding these excuses should help get you into a positive frame of mind for the writing process.

Just focus on your book, and your writing will get better and better over time.

Writing Discipline And Mindset For Authors With James Scott Bell

As with anything we learn, writing is a skill. It requires practice to hone over time. Before you start putting any words onto the page, you need to focus on a few important preparations. In order to realize your end goal, you need actionable steps to follow. Avoid this and stay realistic, since developing a writing habit is most important at this stage in learning how to write a book. Thirty minutes or even 5 minutes spent writing is better than nothing, so resolve to make it happen and find the time.

You might decide to get up early and write before the obligations of your day crowd out your writing time. Whatever time of day is convenient for you, stick with it so that it becomes a predictable part of your day. This will establish a writing habit. Setting an end date forces you to stay on schedule and keeps the forward momentum going. So consider giving yourself a deadline for your book. You may be wondering: How do you choose a deadline when you have no idea how long the book-writing process will take?