In the past five years, I have written, edited, self-published, and marketed my first book. That in itself has been a journey, especially as I worked to complete middle school and high school at the same time!
But the first novel has been completed (yay!), and now I want to share 5 tips on writing and editing that I have learned going on this journey.
1. Know what you are writing and why you are writing it: call it what you want–motto, purpose–but you need to have some direction as to where you are going. Something to keep you motivated when the days get long and you are wondering “Why am I doing this?” Having a purpose statement really makes things a lot clearer and gives your writing a new perspective.
2. Work with Scripture: Proverbs 16:3–“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established”–helped me keep my focus right. My writing was for God, and if I committed whatever I had to Him, then I knew everything would go according to His plan, whatever that may be.
3. Know where you want your story to go and how you want it to end: make detailed plans, have an outline, make character sketches for your characters–all this will help you stay on track. Writing a novel can be tricky business, but when you can look back on your plans and remind yourself where you are going, it makes those “writer’s block” times a lot easier!
4. Look over your book again, and again, and again: I can’t stress this enough. It is so important to have many people, whether friends, family, or peers, look over your book. Your eye becomes “immune” to what you have written and can easily skip over the mistakes fixing them only in your head. When you have fresh eyes look at your manuscript, they are able to find mistakes in what you may have thought was just fine!
5. Hire a professional editor: Sometimes we think that our friends have edited for us good enough, why hire someone? But in truth, an editor can be much more than an editor. Your editor will no doubt have more experience than you and will be able to mentor you through many important aspects of your book.
I hope you are able to find these tips applicable to your writing. Are there any tips that you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment…I love hearing from readers!
Stay tuned for a future post about tips for self-publishing and marketing!