Okay, I thought I should share some of my writing motivations, tips, etc., with you all, because they personally help me stay true to my story. Although I may not be qualified to give this info because I’m not a published author (yet!), I’m going to say it to whoever will listen (or read).
Though some people out there might think I’m crazy by the way I think (though I kinda warned you by my website name), here they are:
Listen to your characters, though they may not always talk to you.
They will talk to you again eventually, whether it takes a day, week, month, or even longer than that. It’s painful to wait for a creative streak, but bear in mind that it will always come back, and normally with more amazing ideas. (I like to pretend that my characters are off on an adventure, so that when they get back, they’ll have more exciting stories to share with me).
Don’t change what your characters say and do, unless it doesn’t work for the plot.
I have personally learned that if you try to change something that was intended to go into the story into something else that wasn’t, my characters will completely stop talking to me, which is infuriating for me. What they say and do is what really happens to them, so I advise you not to try to change it (but the choice is yours).
Don’t listen to the “non-authors”.
If someone criticizes one of your characters and says they’re too nice, mean, emotional, trashy, etc., ignore them. This goes for the plotline/storyline as well. They don’t know the character or story, you do.
You don’t have to know everything.
Sometimes, even your characters will keep secrets from you, the author (I realize probably most of you more experienced writers have run into this before, but I’m writing it down anyway). Be open and prepared to be told something you weren’t expecting. (One of my personal experiences: I had a man already planned out for the heroine of my story, but she ended up falling for someone else).
Don’t let that “inner-critic” stop you.
Now, this one I personally struggle with. The critic inside you is always there, nagging about something, whether it’s the way you spelt that sentence, how you wrote that chapter, that it’s dumb, etc. There will always be something it doesn’t “like”, and there’s no avoiding that. You have to learn to just ignore it or work with it instead of against.
Read your work from the reader’s perspective.
This can be hard, because as the writer, you know more than the reader does, and that makes it really easy to get the reader lost on what’s going on. Re-read your writing from the reader’s POV and keep an eye out for anything missing or if you are revealing too much too early in the story.
Write it down anyway.
When you get an idea for a story, scene, plot, etc., write it down. Write it down on a notepad, napkin, journal, scrap of paper, whatever’s closest to you, before you can forget, even if the idea seems ridiculous. Chances are you will use it in a later story (or even the one you are working on now).
Believe in yourself.
You must believe you have enough creativity to write a story. If you think you’ll do a poor job, it gets you down and makes it harder. You must have faith in your own ability to write a good, intriguing story.
Well, there’s what I keep in mind when I write and think about writing.
(You may have noticed I treat my characters as though they are real, living, breathing people, and that is because they qualify as my friends. I wouldn’t be able to create a story out of random letters and words without them there in my imagination).
If I think of any more of my writing advice, I will either add onto this post or make a new one.
Hope this helped someone out there who is like me, searching for writing advice and help.
© Amelia Jacobson