How can I become a better writer in 2019?

How can I become a better writer in 2019? Lynda Filler, Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC at Writers and Authors (2009-present) Quora

I love this!!!

Elizabeth Gilbert—Everyone has read Eat, Pray, Love, right—posted this on Instagram today and I just had to share!

elizabeth_gilbert_writer repost from Instagram

A friend told me yesterday that she was thinking of taking a writing class. I told her that was fine, but that I might be able to save her money, by telling her everything I know about HOW TO WRITE. So here it is!

My free 10-step Writing Academy:

1) Tell your story TO someone. Pick one person you love or admire or want to connect with and write the whole thing directly to them —like you’re writing a letter. This will bring forth your natural voice. Whatever you do, do NOT write to a demographic. Ugh. ❤️

2) Start at the beginning of the story, write what happened, and keep going until you get to the end. ❤️

3) Use radically simple sentences. ❤️

4) Don’t worry if it’s good; just finish it. Whether or not your project is good, you’ll be a different person at the end of it, and that’s always worth doing. ❤️

5) Don’t write with the aim of changing anybody’s life. That will lead to heavy, irritating prose. Just share what delights or enrages or fascinates you. If somebody’s life is changed by it, that’s a bonus. ❤️

6) Whenever you can, tell stories instead of explaining stuff. Humans love stories, and we hate having stuff explained to us. Use Jesus as an example: He spoke almost exclusively in parables and allowed everybody to draw their own lessons from his great storytelling. And he did very well. ❤️

7) Your work doesn’t have to be any particular length or written for any particular market. It doesn’t have to even be seen by another human being. How and if to publish your work is a problem for another day. For today, just write. ❤️

8) Remember that you’ve been doing research your whole life merely by existing. You are the only expert in your own experience. Embrace this as your supreme qualification. ❤️

9) Every writer starts in the same place on Day One: Super excited, and ready for greatness. On Day Two, every writer looks at what she wrote on Day One and hates herself. What separates working writers from non-working writers is that working writers return to their task on Day Three. What gets you there is not pride but mercy. Show yourself forgiveness, for not being good enough. Then keep going❤️

10) Be willing to let it be easy. You might be surprised. ❤️LG

I’m highlighting this and reading as a mantra every day until I know it off by heart! It was Eat Pray Love that inspired me to write my own memoir, LOVE The Beat Goes On, Thanks, Liz!

6 Tips that will change the way you write

What is your Best Unconventional Writing Advice?

It has nothing to do with grammar, or the English language, or what sells or doesn’t sell. I follow a few simple rules.

  1. I think I read this in Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott) “You have to stop writing as if your mother is reading over your shoulder!” I paraphrased, but you get the idea. Tell it like you see it and feel it. Be true to your thoughts, heart, and feelings.
  2. Develop a thick skin—armor. You’re going to need it. Bite your tongue at the critics. Remember if everyone loved the same things, there’d be no fashion industry or book genres, or millions of songs on the market. We are all different. Your readers will be from different walks of life and you will get reviews that hurt. Forget about them. Focus on the ones that think your work is great.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up about your writing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a writer, but after agonizing over a novel you can’t seem to get it finished. It’s three years and still, it’s incomplete. It’s not from lack of time, writing might not be for you. If it’s not, let it go. When I was younger I took ballet. I loved it, but I couldn’t follow the line. I’m a good actress, I love to perform. But I can’t memorize a sentence! Hah, I could never make a career of acting! Let the dream go and enjoy reading instead.
  4. Editors and first readers will want you to write a certain way. One of my best friends enjoys giving me plot ideas. Recently I went crazy for about 6 weeks, trying to work with a plot idea that wasn’t right for me. You have to let that stuff go. It’s your story, book, novel, blog, whatever. It’s yours to write any way you want. I struggled to read my first Bukowski book last summer—Women. It was horrendous. Yes, he’s brilliant. But the plot was about an alcoholic loser writer and all the women he used and threw away. Really? And yet he’s considered a great author. I finished the book… I don’t know if I bothered to review it.
  5. Sometimes you have to turn off Grammerly or whatever editing program you are using. You will have a style. Not everyone will like it. Get over yourself. Think about it this way: Some will, some won’t. Next reader coming right up.
  6. Last, as an author if you are looking for someone to motivate you, forget it. Writing is a solitary career. You literally turn off the outside world and go into the one you have created in your mind. You’re the only one who sees the pictures you have created. And you are the only one who can pull those ideas away from the invisible muse and get them down on paper. You are unique. And you have to find that voice inside of you and believe that you can do this. You have to become your very own cheerleader.

Now stop hanging out on Quora (Lynda) and get working on book 7 in the Code Raven Series!

Reprinted from Author Lynda Filler on Quora

BY THE WAY, I almost forgot!! Book 2 in the Code Raven Series, ABDUCTED IS FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW!

Have you got what it takes to write a novel? NaNoWriMo

 

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You start with an idea. Where you proceed from there depends on the genre you wish to write. For example, JET: EXPOSED (Kindle Worlds Novella) (JET WORLD Book 1) is a series of Action/Suspense/Thriller novellas (fan fiction) that require lots of plot, the original characters from Russell Blake’s super successful JET series, and my original subplots. So for that type of story, I use a spreadsheet. I need to plot out my story before I write even one word.

This afternoon I was looking for something and came across TextEdit notes on my computer for book 3 of my “in the Sun” series, Book one wasn’t plotted at all Target In The Sun (Carlos & Mia Book 1) but because the fans loved it and wanted to know what happened to the main characters, I needed to come up with a convincing second story. I hadn’t planned on a series. Again, I used a spreadsheet to list my characters, their main qualities, looks, background and then down the page I would write chapter 1, 2, 3 and fill in the ideas. Book two went much faster. And now this is how I’ve started book 3:

“I’ve found her boss.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Kill her!!”

“Are you loco? What if he finds out?”

“I said kill her!”

Silence at the other end of the cell phone, and then the connection was broken.

I already had what I thought was chapter one, but I was wrong!! My muse is taking over—and that’s exactly what you want.

My basic literary tools go like this:

  1. Ideas—you can find them anywhere
  2. Discipline to write—that comes from your burning desire to be an author
  3. Structure—you need organization
  4. Flexibility—you must remember that stories come through us. We don’t own them, our muse comes out to play and can be as annoying as a sibling. Your muse will interrupt you WIP with something totally unexpected. It’s called magic.
  5. Belief—you must believe that your stories are meant to be written and read. If you don’t have belief, you will give up too soon.
  6. Determination—if you have #5 then the guts to work through a lousy review and tons of different types of rejection is a literary tool that you will need to have in your toolbox
  7. Team—you will find that you can’t/don’t want to do everything yourself. So the team that works with you need to understand your vision. Editors, cover artist, advertising groups, your FB fan base and your first readers
  8. Marketing—in today’s world anyone can write a book. Learn to market. It’s the part I least like and yet it allows me to connect directly with my readers. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, you will have fans like mine who love my work and leave reviews that take my breath away.

 

My current Work in Progress   Lie to Me: an exposé on sex for money

 

Layla Duncan has an insatiable curiosity about Mexico’s other tourism, men who sell steamy sexual encounters to vacationing women. She infiltrates the organized underworld of male prostitution, interviews several men and writes an exposé of their lives. The lines between Layla’s personal life and professional assignment quickly become blurred, and she finds herself questioning her value system in an exciting yet disturbing way. 

How long did you take to finish writing a novel? Q

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In my lifetime I’ve written 4 complete novels, published two of them. The first I lost. Don’t laugh! I must have thrown it out by accident thinking it was previously published poetry work! I wrote the first book over 6 months and consequently if I can focus on it, 4 months seems to be my period to write a book. But the editing can take at least another month with back and forth.

Thoughts to make yourself more efficient:

  1. Know where you’re going when you begin, otherwise you could be writing that novel for years
  2. Plot it out even if it’s not a mystery—I use Excel
  3. Be open to surprises that will throw your plot off—visitors who show up in your mind and jump onto the page without warning!
  4. Write, write, write—try not to go back over what you’ve written and edit. It’s hard to do that but all writing teachers will say write that first draft and then go back
  5. My personal challenge: be aware of plot holes.
  6. Have fun!!

What are some good writing tips?

by Lynda Filler, Author Poet Freelance Writer  on QUORA    Screen Shot 2016-10-15 at 11.38.27 AM

  1. Write every day. It might be 15 min. on Quora or a blog or a page in your novel, but write. That’s how you get better.
  2. Start with bite-size work. I originally wrote poetry and published 3 books over the years. Then when I got the nerve to go mainstream, I published a novella JET: EXPOSED (Kindle Worlds Novella) (JET WORLD Book 1)First, it was in Kindle Worlds so I was certain someone would read it because it’s fan-fiction from a famous author Russell Blake NYT and USA Best Selling Author. Second, it’s short—30,000 words, fun and not overly challenging. When you do this type of writing, you get instant feedback from fans who will be blunt about your mistakes and praise you if you’re on the right track.
  3. I’m in love with the motivation and inspiration you can find on You Tube. The first video I would recommend is Stephen King. His book is a MUST READ On Writing; but his interviews are extraordinary. Listen, take notes on both style and persistence. A fan reviewed one of my books and compared my style to Lee Childs, David Baldacci and Clive Cussler. So the first is an author I love and I’ve listened to every interview he’s given on You Tube.
  4. Read, read, read, and did I mention read? Imagine. You get to learn your craft by doing something you already love to do, read.
  5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is another classic. These are lifesaving books (A. Lamott & S. King) to keep by your side. Inhale every single syllable. When you get stuck or lose motivation, pick one up, read a chapter then go back to work.
  6. “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Each writer will have a “something” different that this quote will reference. In my case, some days I get caught up in things that don’t “serve me” or help me build my author business. I know in that moment I have to stop, re-focus and write!

https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-good-writing-tips/answer/Lynda-Filler?share=c8cb2707

 

“An overnight success is 10 years in the making.” Tom Clancy

Think Long Term. Create A Body Of Work.

This is an excerpt from The Successful Author Mindset. Out now in ebook, print, workbook and audiobook formats by Joanna Penn.

When we see stories in the media about a particular author who made it big, who seemed to come from nowhere, there are usually years of hard work behind the book that went stratospheric.

There are also plenty of authors making a decent living who you have never heard of. Of course, there are always lightning strikes when an author hits a zeitgeist, but that’s not something to base a business plan on.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2016/07/14/create-a-body-of-work/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare