Hi all! I hope this last week proved fantastic for you. I am working hard on Lore. I finally received back some of my chapters from my critique partners and will be busy playing catch up this next week.
But I've decided to get back to discussing creative writing techniques and tips on this blog. There's been a lot going on that has kind of pulled me away from my original thoughts for this site.
As some of you know my writing coach, Janet Roots, is English. And over there, across the pond as it were, they are taught a more strict regimen when it comes to creative writing skills. I'm actually glad I had her as my coach because I've become a stickler when it comes to the quality of my writing. I want my novels to be clean and tight. And I want to pass those tips on to all of you. It is much more enjoyable to read a book where the author has fantastic writing skills.
Although it is true, the more you write the better the flow becomes. But I've seen too many times where the author is not getting better. They remain with the same skill set, not growing in their craft.
I am reading an author, who is traditionally published and has probably 30 novels out. I love his stories, and the main character he uses. I haven't read any of his books in a while, but decided to check one out. I was surprised at how often he head hops and his dialog is not split up with paragraphs between the two different characters. I actually had to go back and read here and there to know which character was talking.
Even though he can get away with it because he is a New York Times Best Seller, it doesn't mean you should write the same way. (Makes me wonder about some of the editors in this country too.)
When you are in a certain character's POV, you need to stay within their mind at least throughout the entire scene. I realize I have talked about this subject a lot, but it really is my biggest pet-peeve. If you are writing in first person, then you should stick within your main character's POV, but if you decide to split up the POV with other characters, make sure to let the reader know which character's POV you're in at the moment. You can announce it on the top of the scene or chapter. A good example of this is the book Help.
I try to point these skills out only because I would love to see more self-published authors use them. The better our books are, the more people are apt to purchase them. I have heard too many times in the last 6 years of writing, that readers refuse to buy self-pubs because of the awful writing.
Don't let your books fall into this trap. Give it your all so that when you get reviews they are everything you hoped for. For me, I would be embarrassed if I got reviews that were less than 3 stars. Even those bug me, but they aren't because of my writing skills, they're because not everyone will like my story.
That's okay, you can't please them all, but make sure it's for the right reason, not your terrible writing skills.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Leave me a comment if you get a chance. I would love to hear about your writing experiences!