Monday, November 22, 2010

Become a Writer (The Do’s & Don’ts)

Posted by T.S.Garp

In this modern age of technology, a new writer still needs to do his homework, and learn as much see can about the writing craft before he could be successful and accepted by his peers.

So you’ve decided to become a writer. Welcome to the world of writing and into a world where you are given the opportunity to express your deepest feelings and articulate in your own words, thoughts, ideas, and learned knowledge. As a writer you will be able to break through the ranks with your own unique voice and style. If you are courageous, diligent, and lucky enough to be recognized for your writing by your peers and the general public, than you have made it alongside well known, established authors through history that have labored long and hard, working tirelessly over their entire career in trying to write something worth reading.

Success as a writer doesn’t happen instantly and everybody has to pay their dues. J.K. Rowling spent years writing the Harry Potter books and what makes her more famous was the fact that she was a single poor mom who had an idea for a novel which became a major multimillion dollar book series. Becoming a great writer takes time and effort in learning the craft and sticking to it. Some writers spend years studying journalism, writing/reading comprehension, English literature in college, trade schools, and universities. While other writers just pick it up naturally and learn as they go. The long and short of it is that writers learn at different paces, and however long it takes you, the more you write, the more you learn.

Good writers should read as much as they can whenever they can. Setting time aside for reflection and reading can greatly help a writer to write. Indeed, with today’s technology there are many tools to help a writer write even faster without ever touching a keystroke. The main point is to try to write as often as you can and grow as much as you can as a writer. Statistically, this is the best era in history to be a writer and with 21st century technology it has made it so easy for almost anyone to create an e-book and immediately start publishing on the Internet.

The new generation of writers today is able to publish at lightning speeds. I first began as a struggling writer many moons ago with an old electric typewriter, and I used to send out my manuscripts and poetry through conventional mail to book publishing companies, literary agents, and magazines, and waited and waited for the response letter to come. I was only slightly disappointed that I got rejection notices time, and time again. But what I was most thankful for was the critique the editors gave me and helpful advice to make my work even better, and I really appreciated the fact that they wanted me to keep writing and submitting whenever I could. This constructive criticism is necessary for learning to begin and spur you on to become even better writers.

I studied journalism and read other people’s work in fiction writing, screenplays, short stories, and poetry. I quickly learn screenplay writing by mostly just reading dozens of movie scripts and collaborating with other screenwriters. Having learned the basics of writing screenplays helped me land a job in a film company. Writers today should be mindful to study as much they can and learn by example of other writers work and try to produce the best work they can in a reasonable amount of time without over rushing to publish. But the Internet has made it extremely easy to publish and some writers barely put any effort to write something really good.

Let’s not forget the old adage that it’s better to have quality than quantity. Nobody should be pushing you to write more than your means, unless you’re working for somebody else who has you under a strict deadline and promise you a big reward. Some writers fail to do that and end up writing junk. Always check your spelling and grammar. Do your research and check for facts before writing your articles. Never plagiarize. Take the right amount of time you need to complete the best work you possibly can make. A job half done is a job done badly. Use your own voice and unique style and not somebody else’s when writing articles. Consistently try to elaborate and expand on the subject matter, remaining factual on the details, and most importantly always expressing everything in your own words. This is your time and your moment to really produce genuinely good work and a testament to your true writing skills.

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly
100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor)
On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
Writing Fiction For Dummies
The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well

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