This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1. Enjoy it: It’s all too easy to get mired with worries and flagging self-confidence when writing – it’s a long, lonely process after all, and nobody can really tell you if you’ve got it right until the end – but if you can suspend your own disbelief and enjoy it, you will make it a far more compelling read.
2. Read it: Whether you wait until the end to read what you’ve written, or read back yesterday’s work the following day, it’s vital to keep reading it and seeing that perspective. Nobody else will write it bar you, but you want hundreds of thousands of eyes to make the reading journey and it’s important to see your work through them.
3. Finish it: I often say it, but there are far too many half-finished novels languishing in drawers, and I think one of the toughest things to achieve as a new writer is writing the two words The End (or one if you prefer Finis). However tough it gets, you can always, always write your way out of a corner – or delete, go back and avoid the corner. It’s one of the beautiful things about what we do.4. Leave it: Taking a break between drafts is incredibly beneficial for refreshing your perspective and seeing the book as a whole. It’s not something many modern commercial writers have the time to do these days, but I always urge new writers to do if they can. A few weeks away from a manuscript can bring terrific new inspiration when you return it because you’ll be less subjective.
5. Edit it: Editing, to me, is just as important as the initial writing process, and just as creative. Allow lots of time, and don’t be afraid to make radical changes. If a character doesn’t work, change them or take them out completely. You can keep several different versions – just don’t forget to name them carefully so that you know which is which, and always back everything up.
The Country Escape by Fiona Walker is out now.