Well the whole family is back from vacation and school started this week. It’s a new day for everyone. For me, it’s a new day of no more quiet days and getting the sleep I need. And needing a vacation after my vacation.
For my sons, it’s a new school year and my youngest is entering Kindergarten! Uh-oh, faculty watch out. Fathers, hold on to your daughters. The Wilks brothers are in the house!
I’ll be on pins and needles all week. Not too worried about my eldest because this isn’t his first rodeo. Although sometimes I wonder if it is with how forgetful he can be of the school and class rules. And from what’s right and wrong. Or is it because he’s hardheaded. Sigh.
Anyways, it’ll be a whole new world for my youngest. Learning and following the school and class rules. Sitting still. Though he’s the youngest, he has more common sense than his older brother, smh. But still, can’t help but wonder and worry. This will be all new to him.
He’s a newbie.
But we’re all newbies at one time or another. And the great thing about being a newbie is that you don’t remain one for long. Plus newbie or not, you’re always going to make a mistake and learn from it. When I first started writing again I made some newbie writing mistakes I thought I knew better not to do. So what did I do?
I learned from my mistakes, absorbed and applied writing tips and techniques to hone my craft. Am I a perfect writer now? No. My goal is not to be a perfect writer but a writer whose works can touch and entertain readers.
Do I still make writing mistakes? Oh, hell yes. And in this post, I’m sharing insights and tools that have helped me correct them.:
When I first started writing again I was a huge info dumper. Most if not all my backstory ended up in the story. Especially in the beginning. Which pretty much meant I had no hook and my story really started on the next page. So how did I fix it? Well I thought of it this way. Writing is a relationship between the author and the reader. It’s like a date. And nothing ruins a date more than going on and on about unnecessary things. Like the number of times you chewed your food that morning. Simply, there’s no reason to give everything away. It’s all about the pacing and the excitement in getting to know you. So let your readers get to know the story. Space and pace your clues. And let them enjoy trying to figure out the wonder of the world you're building by what you did leave out.
I’m always mixing tenses but I recently came upon a tip to help fix that. And that is to write your draft in the first person and present tense. When it’s time to rewrite, revise and edit then you change it in the tense you want it. Be it third person limited and simple past. Second person or you can decide the story flows better in first person and keep it as is.
Five words. Thank god for the thesaurus. Writing isn’t as easy as it looks but those bestseller authors does make it look easy, don’t they? How are they capable of writing 90,000 and more words? How is it that they have no trouble not repeating and overusing words like ‘look,’ ‘said,’ and or ‘walk’? With a handy thesaurus by your side ‘look’ is replaced by ‘gaze’ or ‘gaze longingly.’ Instead of ‘said’ you can use ‘bragged’ or ‘chatted.’ Another word(s) for ‘walk’ are ‘stomp,’ ‘shuffle,’ and or ‘amble.’ Use a word cloud generator to find your most repeated words. And hunt through the thesaurus for a better word usage.
Keeping it hidden
I know it’s scary but sharing your writing and not keeping it hidden will get you out of the newbie writer zone. Put your writing out there, get feedback and critiques. The constructive criticism you’ll receive will help improve your writing. Plus, you’ll get to befriend other writers. You should also try entering contests and submitting to anthologies. You’ll never know, your writing might be accepted for publication. Which would also lead to you gaining readers and fans of your writing.
What mistakes did you make when you first started writing?