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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writing It

Writing Hand by IggyOblomov

The new member of my writing group had completed a first draft. He's in the process of editing it. Rewriting.

He gave the manuscript to his wife who's offering her feedback. But they're kind of flying blind.

He contacted local universities to find classes on how to write a novel, but the people he talked to were no help. They offered basic English classes. He knew he needed more, and that's how he ended up joining our group.

How does one write a novel? Are there classes? Or do we all go into this and just see where it takes us?

There is no one way to write a novel. We all do it differently. We must find what works for us and go with that. We'll figure out how to tell our story. There will be road bumps along the way.

He has done the two most important things. Things that many writers starting out have not done:
  1. He wrote a draft.
    • This is huge! How many times do we hear people moaning that they have a novel idea, but don't have the time to write it? He sat down and pounded out the pages. 
  2. He joined a writing group.
    • He's found us now, and we're a resource to help him on his journey. As we are there to help each other.
So, while he might not think that he knows what he's doing, he's made a very good start. But as he's not sure where to go from here, it's time to point him in the right direction. He doesn't feel his novel is finished, but mostly because he needs the feedback of other writers.

Other things he could do: 
  • Read books on writing
  • Join online writing groups 
  • Find beta readers and critique partners
  • Follow good writers' blogs
What else can you think of? What have I missed? Do you have any good books to recommend? Any other tips?


Misha Gericke said...

Just by finishing that draft, though, he's already well on his way to learning the craft. And with the help of crit partners and writing groups, he'll keep learning as he edits.

He just needs to pay attention. :-)

mshatch said...

Here are a few more suggestions:

1. Read and dissect other successful novels like his.

2. Get someone other than his wife to critique his work, preferably someone not related who can critically read his draft and make suggestions.

3. Write a query letter and a synopsis.

Liz A. said...

Good tips. Thanks.