The project is a collective of mostly writers who have also extended their creative tentacles to include a photographer, a filmmaker, and anyone else in a bid to explore the realm of artistic engagement through social media.
Kevin invited the four authors of The Carter Seagrove Project to contribute their top three writing tips. We sat down over Skype and came up with our top 12 tips for writers. They are not presented in any particular order of priority or preference.
- Write the story you want to write, not the story that you think the reader wants to read. Never shy away from writing something that is nothing like anything else around. Your story will find its audience.
- Write every day – one word or ten thousand, it doesn’t matter – just write every single day.
- Read avidly – and it doesn’t have to be books in your chosen writing genre/s.
- Switch genres occasionally – it sharpens the skill, otherwise, successive stories become staid.
- I’m a pantser, which often leads to plot decisions having to be made fairly rapidly – I’m comfortable with that but sometimes the plot needs to cool off and the ideas/direction settle. Never be afraid to put a manuscript away and pick it up again at a later time – better that than labouring over a decision, making the wrong call and then having to delete a whole load of work and start again. Meantime, write something else.
- Write poetry as a warm up exercise – writing poetry liberates you from the (largely imagined) confines of fiction writing. Exercise your creative muscles. I find that writing poetry frees my mind and then allows me to write more fluidly.
- Top three review/editing tips – read the manuscript out loud, get someone else to read the manuscript out loud, and read the manuscript on your eReader.
- Take a notepad with you wherever you go, to jot things down as they occur to you. I especially use it to record place and other interesting names, which will often find their way into a story.
- Under no circumstances read your reviews.
- There is often a temptation to deliver a sugar-coated happy ever after which is, quite frankly, at odds with reality – write the fundamental truth of the story – kill your main character off, have your hero stray from the path – it makes for more entertaining and rewarding reading and avoids the cookie-cutter feel that so many stories in the m/m romance genre tend to have.
- Dialogue does not have to be grammatically perfect – write authentic dialogue if you want an authentic sound.
- Enjoy your writing. If you’re not enjoying it, why are you doing it?
Next week we meet author, Trent St. Germain for his advice on writing.