This week the subject is:

“What advice would you give to somebody who wants to be a writer?”

On my calendar today is a quote by Stephen King:

“Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

Mr King obviously knows what he’s talking about, and yes, I agree with him.  When I started out writing books 6 years’ ago I knew nothing really, only that I wanted to write down the stories in my head.  This is all very well, but then there’s another of Mr King’s sayings…

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

You have to learn not to travel the road to hell; that means leaving out the adverbs, repeated words, and words ending with ‘-ing’ for starters.  Then you have show (and not tell) how the plot progresses through character actions and realistic dialogue, and of course ensure all spelling and grammar is correct if you cannot afford to pay a proofreader/editor.

After this you will have to send out your baby to ARC/beta readers, because you cannot hope to catch all your mistakes.  You have to take on a thick skin and be prepared for criticism of the book you have slaved over for so long.

Then when the bloody thing is published, you have to market it.  Nobody will know it’s for sale unless you spend lots of time on social media plugging it to death.  You have to bite the bullet and walk into bookstores with it, give it an airing at author events, and generally give up lots of spare time to getting it to rise above the millions of other books out there.  When you’ve done that you still have to work for a living, because generally being an author is not going to make you rich (unless you’re Mr King!).

However, it’s a lot of fun if you don’t take yourself too seriously…

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