I'm welcoming Kate Nimmo, author of Evergreen Copse, to my blog today to tell us about her writing tips.
Despite only being a new author, I have spent many years writing my own material which has only reached the limitations of my family. After publishing my first piece of work at the age of 11 I decided that books would eventually become my life. As a child I loved books and was a fully-fledged bookworm before leaving primary school. My love for books has never wavered but the productivity of my writing has had several dips due to life getting in the way.
Writing is a lifestyle of it's own and sadly too many people think they don't have what it takes to 'make it'. The truth is that anyone can have the potential to write, it just helps to have some useful pointers to get you started. Although not everyone will become a best-selling author with millions of pounds in the bank, there is a huge feeling of satisfaction and pride when you finish a story you've put your heart and soul into. So if you've considered trying your hand at writing, here's some starting tips to get you on your way.
A muse can inspire you at any time but even their artistic inspiration can use your help. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to creating a plot for your writing. No matter how many forums tell you what you 'need' to write, their advice is already shaping your creation. As you begin your writing journey try writing about a past experience or even some dreams you've had. Pulling together experiences you've had along with some ideas from dreams and everyday life you may find that a plot is already forming in your mind. By listening to your own ideas instead of basing you plot around other writers' recommendations you can make a unique storyline which has more meaning to you.
I often find that I don't create characters before I start writing. As I write I find that the characters come to life in my mind as the story unfolds. When it comes to naming your characters there is never a shortage of inspiration. Using family names, your best friend or even some of your cuddly toys, there are many names you can use which also help you to shape the character. In my book Evergreen Copse the character of Bernard was actually based on a stuffed owl I made by hand at the age of 9, which I still have. The name and description of Bernard came in to play really easily once I decided to capture the traits of the owl. Brown hair, tiny footsteps and of course the name. As your experience progresses you can start to plan beforehand, but in my personal experience I let the characters do the talking and I just write down key notes of what they add to the plot.
Scouting through the internet I've seen many people asking about how long your work should be. Although publishers often look for a certain amount of words there's nothing stopping you from creating something shorter or longer. The length is justified by the story itself. A great way to become accustomed to writing full length novels is to work your way up. Try writing some short stories first. Unconsciously you will already start lengthening your pieces without even thinking about it. Progressing up to a novella, usually under 40,000 words, you can begin to develop your setting the scene language. Add descriptive text, conversations and scenic placements to lengthen and enhance your writing. Before you know it you will become so engrossed in your writing you will have hit 50,000 words without hesitation.
Copying another writer's style is never going to get you anywhere. Just because one author finds success with a particular style it doesn't mean it works for everyone. Writing as yourself is so important and is far more beneficial in the long run. Readers are often looking for something different to sink their eyes into. Producing something unique is not only rewarding, because it's your own, but you put something new onto the table. This quality is not something that can be taught, but if you write from the heart and with the passion you have for writing, the work you create will be inspirational.
Now you have some tips on getting started, pick up your pen and see if you can write a short story about what you've seen or done this week. You'll be surprised what you're actually capable of. Believe in yourself and happy writing!!