Today I decided to compile a list of one line tips that help me keep focused on writing and observations I have made since gaining a literary agent. Here they are in no particular order:
- Don’t play video games.
- 1000 words a day is healthy.
- Make time for your family….but not too much.
- Write a blog for recharging creativity.
- Don’t bug your busy agent.
- Send what an agent asks you to send.
- Listen to criticism and then modify.
- Get help from other writers.
- Find a quiet place to write.
- Write outlines.
- Write character backgrounds.
- Do research.
- Interview experts or people with professions with which you are not familiar.
- Talk to a policeman, firefighter, detective, or teacher about their job.
- Keep writing.
- Follow the AGENT’S RULES when sending query letters.
- Don’t bother sending directly to publishers.
- Don’t write what is popular right now because it is already yesterday’s news.
- Read great books, not flash in the pan drek.
- Edit, edit, edit, then pay someone to edit.
Care to add to the list? Please do. We all can use helpful tips. Keep your tips brief, though.
- Querying Writers: Please Do Your Homework (chasingthecrazies.wordpress.com)
- Guest Post: What A Literary Agent Can Do For You (And How To Get One) (ebarnes23.wordpress.com)
- Musings on Self-Publishing (fallsintowriting.com)
- Shut Up and Write (lifeandartandshit.wordpress.com)
- Adventures in Querying, Part I (louisacameron.com)
- Writers Relief… (mandyevebarnett.com)
3 thoughts on “20 Useful Tips for Writing a Novel”
Roger, loved your list – and thanks for the ping back! It’s amazing how similar my own list would be if I’d thought to write one (and if I had an agent 😉 ). I would add one thing though: “Write first thing in the morning.” I find that my brain is sharpest when I start my day, even though I am not really a morning person. There’s just something powerful about the mind after a full night of sleep and before all of the day’s other thoughts and demands intrude. I’ve heard other writers say this as well.
Great list although want to qualify 1: I met my current wife gaming and she is the one that has ensured I got my first novel finished…. and others. Plus current novel being revised, is set crime set against gaming world and part of ongoing cyber-crime series – game inspired. So qualifier to Rule 1: Don’t let gaming be more than inspiration or a release at end of writing day. (In fact it’s my reward at the end of my writing/editing day!!)
– Read through what you wrote yesterday
– Find music to compliment scene. Close eyes and imagine. Then go write.
(Great tips, although one day I’d like to argue number 11 with you ;-))