Good writers and published authors, take the craft of writing seriously. They have people give feedback-editors, critique groups(Writers.com), trusted and objective friends. They also read a lot. They read countless stories and analyze what’s going on in them to make them successful.
When you read, you should ask yourself the following questions.
- How does the author make me want to turn the page?
- Why am I drawn to the lead character?
- What makes the scene work?
- What’s the key conflict?
- How does the author handle dialogue?
- How does the author integrate minor characters?
- How’s the pace, can you feel the tension building?
Authors also read books on writing, take classes and apply what they have learned. Through the wonder of trial and error, they find themselves growing as writers.
You don’t have to take my advice. Keep writing. You will never get where you need to be to publish that first novel. Just like any other job, writing requires work. You don’t just wake up one day and you’re an author, just like you don’t wake up one day a brain surgeon. Just because you want it to be doesn’t make it so. Pay your due diligence and learn the craft. It will save you so much time and heartache in the long run.
I can relate so much to this article. Being the novice with a really good story line, I thought all I had to do was get it down on paper. I did a minimal amount of research and got a mediocre story set up for rejection. The response I got from the literary agent – Really good story line but everything else about the manuscript needs serious work.
Of course I already told you about the grammatical and structural errors, they were inexcusable. I was also nailed for dragging dialogue, head bopping, and on- the-nose writing. These terms I had never heard before, but if I had researched and learned the proper way to write a novel, I would have known exactly what she was talking about.