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!

What things should one be good at in order to become a good writer?

Lynda Filler
Lynda Filler, Top Quora Writer 2018 Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

Be Brave. You have to be able to open your heart and pour out your feelings. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re in. Let it flow. Be Brave.

Be Bulletproof. Some people choose not to read their reviews. I read them and on Goodreads thank the writers. But I still remember words used to describe my first JET, an action ex-Mossad female assassin. A reader said I’d turned her into a “horny slut.” Today I laugh, then, it wasn’t funny. I thought I “humanized” her. Don’t let the haters get inside your head.

Be Curious. It doesn’t matter what. It’s curiosity that has kept me traveling the world in my stories. I LOVE taking my characters to different places in my work whether it’s action or contemporary romance. They live in my mind and I live in their worlds. It’s great fun and takes me to places I didn’t know exist. My current WIP starts off in Kyrgyzstan, moves to Paris, then the Maldives… and on and on. Research, photos, travel, it’s all part of my curiosity about people, places, and issues.

Be Passionate. Don’t write it if you aren’t enjoying the words and the process. A friend recently told me he trashed 87 chapters. Now for me, that would be 100k but for him, it could be 250–300k words. That’s a lot of work and love to decide it’s not worthy of finishing.

Be Gentle. Writing is not for the faint of heart. Believe in yourself. Love what you do. Let no one be a bully to your talent or your belief in you. Self-talk is key in any work/game/sport/job.

And most of all, remember the Little Engine That Could, if you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t…you’re probably right.

You “Reach” Me

Do you have authors that you love? You’re so obsessed with their work that you’ll read anything they write? These authors are my Saturday-night-dates and my all-nighters. And they are the only guys occupying my bed these days–by choice!

#1 is Lee Child #2 Daniel Silva #3 David Baldacci #4, Russell Blake. I could go on but you can see I have a type.

I published my first novella JET-Exposed, fan-fiction for Kindle Worlds in 2015. I have four novellas now based on the USA Today Bestselling author, Russell Blake ‘s JET Series  One of my first reviewers wrote:

Lynda Filler: “The author’s style is reminiscent of Clive Cussler, Lee Childs or Baldacci.” Her words motivate and inspire me to do a better job with each book that I write. 
I answer questions on Quora. The number one question to show up on my page every other day is: How do I become a good writer? And the answer is: READ! And of course, WRITE. Read anything that appeals to you. I inhale my books. They become part of my writing DNA. I write what I love to read. And when I can’t write, I get that craving… like something’s missing in my life.
I started the latest Jack Reacher (#22) last night. I will finish it today. Usually, I go right through it in a day. But I wanted to savor this one. It’s his best Reacher yet! Others may not agree. But I’m sure you never think of highlighting a fast-paced mystery/suspense book…but this one is all (kindle) marked up. The Midnight Line does all the things I love. It addresses a serious social issue: the opioid epidemic. And another cause, obviously close to Lee Child’s heart–what happens to our veterans when they return from war zones and get out of the military?
This novel reached out to me, grabbed my heart and had me in tears. There’s something so much deeper than mere entertainment going on this novel.
It’s the best Reacher yet!

 

Do you love what you write?

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I love my books. But I loathe third read-throughs and edits. I’m done by the time the book comes back from the editor for final review. It’s not that I don’t love what I’ve written, but the tedious job of going back over it, over and over again, is boring for me. I want to write my story. Then send it out into the world to find readers who will adopt it and give a loving home.

I can’t write something I don’t like or wouldn’t want to read. That’s why I focus on thriller, romantic suspense, mystery, poetry, and memoir. My characters become my friends. Sometimes they even beg me—like my fans—to write book 2, and 3 and 4 ( like JET: EXPOSED (Kindle Worlds Novella) (JET WORLD Book 1).

I had a dream two nights ago. I spent yesterday trying to analyze it. I won’t go into details except to say I was wearing blue panties and bra, I saw deep turquoise waters, a man was speaking French, and a Middle Eastern guy in an expensive suit sat on a chair observing me. This morning I woke up and I knew without a shadow of a doubt what the dream was telling me. It’s time to write the memoir of my relationship with a Navy SEAL who died in 2011.

So I LOVE everything I’ve written. I often read or post my poetry from books 1/2/3 because they’re a form a journaling for me. And my novels are my friends, and LOVE The Beat Goes On is how I beat a 6 months death sentence and lived to share the story.

How could I not love and enjoy re-reading my work?

 

ps. Photographer & model unknown

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. 

On Writing My First Novel

Quora

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 it its 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! This happened in NARCO ORPHANS   https://goo.gl/vTz1oP   and altered the book completely
  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!!

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https://www.quora.com/profile/Lynda-Filler

 

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