Sunday, July 26, 2015

25 Writing Tips From Champagne Book Group Authors

  1. A writer should write 'something' everyday, even if it's just a page. Sometimes life gets in the way and if you don't make time, it can be difficult to get back on track and stay focused. –Angela Ashton

  2. Don't allow distractions such as phones or social networks while writing. –KD Fisk

  3. Don't limit yourself. –KD Fisk

  4. I like to read aloud when I'm editing, it slows me down and often I can find mistakes I've missed—it's also good to hear how sentences sound when spoken for rhythm. –Ute Carbone

  5. My main writing tip is Never give up, never surrender (and it is a super cool Galaxy Quest reference) truly though, you have to want it to get it. And that means you will face rejection and just need to keep on, keeping on. –Colleen Laughlin

  6. Turn off Editor Brain and let Writer Brain rule. Let your first draft be messy. Edit later. –Celia Breslin

  7. Write a lot, then write some more. I write about three pages for every page that ends up in the story. –Ute Carbone

  8. Write every day. I wish I could live up to this one. I don't. I do write each day... that I can write. That I want to write. Other days, not so much. Discipline in this arena eludes me - I write when the words knock on my brain insisting on their right to emerge. When they don't, when the words seem deeply buried, I read. When I need inspiration, I read. When I am lost in uncertainty as to how to proceed with a manuscript, I read. Perhaps this should be "write or read or both every day. –Elizabeth Fountain

  9. Write what you love. This one truly works. Love begets effortless writing. Write what you love, love what you write, and the rest will follow. –Elizabeth Fountain

  10. Write every day. –Celia Breslin

  11. When I get stuck on character motivation, I'll write from that character's point of view, to answer some questions. I've also had them 'write me letters' about what they're thinking. –Ute Carbone

  12. Take breaks if writing is stressing you. –KD Fisk

  13. My latest trick is to download the manuscript to my kindle and read it there, the different format gives me a new perspective while editing. –Ute Carbone

  14. Feel free to write anything in the first draft, that's what revisions are for. –KD Fisk

  15. Don't get distracted!! *cringe* –Angela Ashton

  16. Always schedule time for writing. –KD Fisk

  17. Read: reading lots of books, and lots of different styles, authors, and genres, will help you develop an ear for "voice". If you're the kind of person, like me, who isn't able to sit down with a good paperback and are always "on the go", invest in audiobooks. Listen to them in the car, when you're grocery shopping, at the gym, etc. –Brantwijn Serrah

  18. Take a writing class. Classes benefit every writer at any stage of development. Learn how to structure writing, learn correct grammar and syntax, learn how to write from different prompts and challenges. Even if you are one of those blessed individuals who just has a knack for writing, a writing course will help you hone your talent into something even better. –Brantwijn Serrah

  19. Two most common things I see are 1. lack of dialogue while the author begins the book with too much backstory and 2. use of passive voice i.e. was, being, have been, were. It is easy to check on most writing programs for percentage of passive voice used in a manuscript. Anything over 1% is too much. –Veronica Helen Hart

  20. Remember the five senses in your scenes. –Michael W. Davis

  21. Write what you know. This seems to be the most common advice given to writers, and it's sound. But if you are like me, you also want to write what you don't know, write what you seek to learn, write that which you crave to discover. Let writing be your exploration of all aspects of this expansive human life. –Elizabeth Fountain

  22. Preparation, the first phase in writing, this is largely right hemispheric and active. Freeing yourself at this in this stage, research whatever relates to your story. Plunge into your depths. Open yourself to the emergence of inspiring ideas and emotions. Surrender uncritically to and become absorbed in the story. Tempting as it may be, set aside critical thinking. No matter how incongruous, minute or absurd, record budding ideas as they arise. The end product will be a crude collection of ideas, dialogue, etc., in no specific order. This will be the bedrock upon which you will erect a story structure. –Alan Joshua, Website

  23. Dialog tag vs. dialog beat

    As an editor, I encountered this problem in many manuscripts: writers often confuse dialog tags with dialog beats. This is a grammar problem, easily fixed.
    A dialog tag is an indication of who is talking. It could appear before or after a line of dialog and it could include any verb that produces language: said, whispered, commented, asked, etc. In all cases, a tag is a part of dialog and it uses commas to separate it from the dialog proper. Below are several examples with the correct grammar and punctuation:

    Sarah said, “I think you’re right, Kat.”
    “I’m hungry,” she whispered.
    “I hate you,” he shouted, “more than anyone else in the world!”

    Unlike the dialog tags, a dialog beat is a piece of action that
    sometimes accompanies speech. The verb in a beat could be any verb except the ones producing language (said, shouted, demanded, and so on). Any dialog beat is an independent sentence and must be treated as such with punctuation. The examples below use the same lines of dialog as the above, but instead of the tags I use the beats, which changes punctuation and capitalization.

    Sarah laughed. “I think you’re right, Kat.”
    “I’m hungry.” She turned to the wall.
    “I hate you!” He spit on the ground. “More than anyone else in the world.” –Olga Godim

  24. I have a bad habit of getting hung up on the "Point B" scenes... by this I mean, the scenes that connect Point A and Point C. The "in between" scenes. The "boring" scenes where I'm filling in the details between scenes of action and suspense. You can't ignore the Point B scenes, though...your reader needs them for pacing, to take a breath and digest what's happened and anticipate what's to come. So when I get to a Point B scene and I feel I can't write it as eloquently or as impactfully as a Point A or Point C scene, I usually find myself blocked. What I've learned is that you just have to power through it. Write the scene, even if (at the moment) it's not your most powerful prose.  You'll come back to smooth it out later, but get your foundation in so you can build a really good bridge later. –Brantwijn Serrah

  25. My tip would be leave the sentence that you are working on at the end of the day unfinished.  I find that this helps my mind to stay in flow until the next morning. –Kim Leady

1 comment:

  1. Great tips from some very good writers - glad to be in such amazing company!