This is Number 2# on the Three Habits That Will Improve Your Writing:
Again, this advice is nothing new—write, write write—but it’s a requirement. Write something every single day. If you want to be a novelist, give yourself a word count or a time limit, whatever works for you and get those words on the page. Even if they’re awful words, once you’ve written them, you can always fix them. I have sometimes told friends that I’m slinging mud, meaning that I’m just throwing awful words on the page. It’s easier to fix the words than a blank page. In this process of writing every day, you also want to increase your skills. Read craft books on dialogue, story structure, etc. Since you’re reading more, you’ll build skills that will become natural, and you’ll also see where you need to improve. Another way to improve your writing is to judge a contest. The first contest I judged, I had that “Aha” moment and I knew what good writing looked like. I understood what kind of magic caught an editor’s eye, so I then tried to insert that “magic” into my own writing.
But craft isn’t everything. I almost want to say that content is king. Your storytelling ability is equally important. I’ve taught a workshop on brainstorming ideas and finding inspiration. Along with reading and writing, you’ll want to train your brain to become an idea generator by looking for ideas every single day. Create a file and keep everything that snags your attention. At some point you won’t be able to turn the idea machine off. Then you’ll learn how to find the best idea to create a novel or a series out of what you’ve collected.
Within each of these essential daily habits, I expanded on the tips so you can see just how far you can go by taking advantage of the basics to become a better writer.
The sky is the limit!
Happy reading, writing and story crafting!
Elizabeth Goddard has sold over one million books and is the award-winning author of more than fifty novels and counting, including the romantic mystery The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. She is a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense finalist for her Mountain Cove series—Buried, Backfire, and Deception—and a Carol Award finalist for Submerged. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.ElizabethGoddard.com.