Write 2 Be Magazine

For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box

Tips on Writing a Book – Where to Start? by David J. Burrows

I have written four books so I can offer some helpful advice on this subject. My experience can help you by saving you time and effort.

I would suggest starting with short stories to hone your craft. This may not appeal at first, but there are many benefits. Writing short stories helps to develop a writing style and also generates an initial reader base. Readers are essential for helping you to develop characters and plots and are a far better at giving advice than family or friends. The latter are unlikely to give you the sometimes difficult advice you need. Getting positive feedback from a complete stranger is far more satisfying than getting feedback from family. There is also a benefit in engaging with people who like the same genre (science fiction, western, thriller… romance). Family and friends may not read your genre so any advice would be unhelpful.

There are lots of sites to try out your short stories and some sites encourage feedback which will form your reader baseline. This is helpful in determining whether you can connect with readers. These sites also allow you to decide which writing style suits you best and tell you which style or submission is most popular as readers will respond well to your best work. This will help to build your confidence and if your first few stories need some revision then that’s a far easier starting point than writing and having to re-edit an entire book.

Wattpad is useful for publishing short stories. http://wattpad.com and I would suggest starting by looking at and commenting on other people’s stories. That will encourage them to comment on yours, but remember to be polite as you may be on the receiving end of their comments in the future. It is very scary to publish your first story and that anyone can comment on it. Break yourself in gradually and you will gain in ability and confidence. Writing a short story is not easy and is an art in itself and requires a different style to writing a novel. It needs to have an ending that leaves the reader satisfied and engaged.

So, should you start writing in the first person or third. Examples of these are:

“I was mistaken, the cloudless night, with stars shimmering in a soft velvet sky, harboured a far darker secret. I tentatively took a step. First one and then another.”

“He shook his head, doubt gnawing at his innards. The darkness crowded around, like a heavy weight on his shoulders. He wanted to continue, but his feet were leaden.”

Some authors favour one style over the other and some authors write effectively in both styles. Writing a short story and letting others comment on it will help you to see which suits you best. It could also help you to select an appropriate genre.

I have collated a number of articles on writing a book on my blog http://writingabook.ninja so check it out.

Good luck with your writing. David

http://davidburrows.org.uk/ Author of Drachar’s Demons and The Prophecy of the Kings, a fantasy trilogy


About jcladyluv

Jimmetta Carpenter was born and raised in the Prince George’s County Maryland and has had a very big imagination since a very early age. She has been writing poetry since she was in elementary school around the age of ten. Her love of words has allowed her to express herself in ways in which verbally she can not. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and the author of a collection of poetry, The Art of Love under the Pseudonym Gemini, and a novel titled The Diary: Succession of Lies under the Pseudonym Jaycee Durant. She is looking forward to producing two new online magazines, Write 2 Be, and Write 2 Be*Kids, in 2013 under Write 2 Be Media Co. She is currently working on her third and fourth novels and is looking forward to having a very long and rewarding career in writing and hopes that through living out her dreams she can inspire someone else out there to realize theirs. Her advice to other up and coming authors is to NEVER stop believing in your dreams and don’t ever be afraid to dream big.

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2014 by in Contributing Writers and tagged , , , , .

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