ReadRead, read, read. Read as much as you can. Read the genre you want to write. Read other good books. I love reading. I imagine most authors start out as avid readers who are inspired to create their own works. Reading actually helps improve your writing. When I read an amazing book, especially if it provokes the emotions I want to provoke in my own readers, it's inspirational. I want to write something as amazing. It's like the ultimate creativity charge.
WritePractice makes perfect. Every book starts off as a rough draft. It's easier to edit something than nothing. And all the other appropriate platitudes. Improving as an author involves a lot of writing. It's about finding yourself, your unique voice. It's about writing for yourself, getting your story down (without getting caught up in semantics). It's self-expression in its purest form.
PlanWhether you write a detailed outline or simply wing it like a pantster, at some point you need a plan. A writing schedule. A plot direction. An understanding that, despite best efforts, plans change. Making plans involves both time and story management. That's why even a pantster needs a plan. I consider myself a reformed pantster. When I first started writing (seriously as an adult), I incorporated zero planning into my writing. With a little bit of luck, my stories would come together at the end. But, more often than not, I would start and not finish stories. A Wizard's Choice (The Magicals Series, Book 2) was the first book I outlined. I was able to write the majority of it in a month, during NaNoWriMo. Ironically, my original ending didn't pan out, but that's another story.
Short post this week... Back to writing...