This is a guest article by Rachel Summers. If you are interested in submitting a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
It’s said that everyone has at least one book in them. If you think you’re ready to get started on writing yours, that’s great. If the process of writing is putting you off though, don’t worry. These 10 tips will help you get started and help you achieve your writing goals.
- Read, read, read
The first thing you must do is read as though your life depended on it. Read in your genre, outside your genre, and everywhere in between. The more you read, the more you inform your own writing. Read other writers and see what they have to say. Blogs like Writing Populist can help you out a lot.
- Write for yourself
When you first start out, don’t worry about what other people want from you. For now, just write what you want to write. Get the words down on paper first, and you can polish it up once you’re done. Just concentrate on the story you want to tell.
- Understand your audience
Once you’ve written the first draft, you can then start thinking about the changes you’ll need to make for your audience. Make your writing speak to the reader, as if they’re the only person you’re writing for.
- Be consistent
If you really want to become a writer, you’re going to need to work at it. Make sure you’re writing every single day. Even if it’s only a couple of hundred words a day, you’re keeping your hand in, honing your skills, and becoming a better writer.
- Make the reader feel something
The reason most readers stick with a story is because it makes them feel something. This could be anything, from joy, to rage, to even terror. Whatever it is, make sure that you’re making the reader feel it. The most important thing is that they don’t feel bored by your story, as that means you just haven’t captured their attention.
- Pick a tense and stick with it
No matter what you’re writing, you need to pick a tense and stick with it. It can get confusing for the writer if you’re switching between them. For example, ‘I was working in the shop most days. It’s really busy and I can’t keep up with the customers’ doesn’t make a lot of sense to the reader.
- Find help online
If you’re looking for help with your grammar, the right word, or just some general inspiration, you’ll find it online. Not all sources are helpful, so you’ll have to be picky about what you use. If you’re smart though, you can get a lot of help. State of Writing, for example, is packed full of writing guides you can use.
- Hook the reader from the start
No matter what you’re writing, you need to hook the reader right from the beginning. If they’re bored in the first few pages, they won’t come back to the story to see how it ends.
- Proofread and edit
- Enjoy writing
Finally, look at writing as an enjoyable process. There’s nothing more satisfying than finishing a manuscript, is there? Enjoy the writing process, and you’ll look forward to doing it every day.
These tips will help you become a writer, and create the manuscript that you’ve always dreamed of writing. Now get out there and write that book. You never know, you could become the next big thing in literature.
About the author: Rachel Summers is an experienced writer living and working in the UK. She works as a journalist specialising in education, including UK Top Writers, as she has a passion for helping students get the most out of their years in school. Her writing focuses on tips for making school easier for people who are studying and tools that can help them get the assistance they need.