WRITING FOR SUCCESS II: A Dames guide to successful writing

Winter is right around the corner and that means more time spent in the house, well at least for us here in the Midwest. But there is nothing wrong with that, it just leaves more time for writing. As with anything you do, practice makes perfect. Writing is no different and you can never write enough. I've mentioned in a previous blog "WRITING FOR SUCCESS" there are some very helpful tips that can help you get started and stay focused. Once those are put into place, I thought of a few more tips that I have picked up and learned from fellow writers that I want  to share. If you take on the task of becoming a writer and plan on others reading it, you want it to be the best piece you can produce.
Read as much as you write:
If you intend on people reading your story, blog post etc, wouldn't it only make sense for you to read others? Aside from the obvious, this will greatly help you in understanding how a novel reads, or how to
break down a "how to book" into proper categories. Also, you will learn even more writing techniques. Now I'm sure most of you are saying you don't want to copy your favorite author, or don't want your story to sound like something that has already been published. Let's be honest, no one wants that. However reading others writing will aide you in being able to create your own unique voice,  making it something people will enjoy reading. With that being said, when you begin writing your own story, in whatever capacity, make sure to not read others of the same genre or topic at the same time. This may lead to sounding too much like another author. 

Perfect the art out outlining: 
This was one of my key tips listed in "WRITING FOR SUCCESS", but I wanted to take it one step further as I feel regardless of the subject matter, outlining your piece is critical in saving you from wasting time. It also  helps to develop a smooth cohesive story line throughout. Previously, I had mentioned the snow flake effect but I've also heard that you can start with the ending and work your way backwards. By doing this style of outline you really have to know and understand how your story fits together. Since each chapter is suppose to push your story forward, this will MAKE you know and understand each movement of your characters, or help you see how your narrative is coming together. Also, for outlining my blogs, I simply use the good old MLA format. I expand the bullet points it to fit the length of my topic and then go in and jot my ideas down. From there I go back and fill in the meat of what information I'm sharing. 

Finish that first draft... Then re-write it again:
My first mistake as an author was finishing my very first novel and expecting it to be ready for publishing
two months later. What I failed to realize, is that it wasn't even close to being a finished product. As I stared going through the story line, I found holes, scenes that didn't need to be there, and I found myself re-writing a lot of it. I say your first draft of anything isn't finished because it's not. Whether it be grammar, or simply something that doesn't sound right to you when being re-read, everything that is written with the intentions on it being published, needs to have a second and even third draft. 

Write what you know and love:
If you hate guns and would never fire one at anything, then writing about hunting would be a huge mistake. If you love writing business plans and help people market their ideas then this is something that you would do very well in writing about on the topic. Pick what interests you, regardless of the forum, and write about topics you enjoy and are knowledgeable on.  The confidence will come through in your writing and it will be a strong, moving piece to read. Also, even if you are very knowledgeable on something or have experienced for yourself, make sure to do research on whatever you are writing about. Even if you never use any of it, it's good to have it in the back of your mind when writing. 

No Distractions:
When you finally write, and this is for any kind of writing, turn off your social media and other devices. I've never know a book to write itself. You need to stay focused while you write, and writing is hard when you are scrolling through text messages or Face Book. Make sure you are in a comfortable designated area and keep it free of social media. Some people enjoy having music playing in the background and that's more than ok, but make sure to turn off all your other devices. 

We write for all different reasons. For some of us it's because we have to and for others it's because we love to. We write to share our thoughts, ideas and stories with others. Whether it's for fun, work, or otherwise following these tips will help you reach the finished product that we are all working towards. 

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