It’s been a while since I’ve posted a guest series on writing tips.
But over the next few weeks several published authors are going to share their’s. The first to guest blog for me is M.D. Neu.
Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. So he was naturally drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels.
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
Today he begins a new series of Writing Tip Blogs.
There are a lot of writing tips out there. If you do a Google search, you will find thousands and thousands of entries, so when Kevin asked me to put together a couple of writing tips I wasn’t 100% sure what I could share, what I could bring to the table that was different and unique. Instead of me worrying about trying to find something unique and different, I’m going to share three tips I’ve learned and use not only in my writing, but for me as a Writer. I can only speak to how this has benefited me and made my writing career (as it is) better.
First, know your writing limits.
What I mean by this is simple figure out where your weak spots are in your writing. For me it’s twofold. I love details and I tend to do info dumps, it can be a problem for many readers. Some people, like me, love all the details, the more the merrier, others however don’t. If you spend too long describing a room and all it’s intricacies their eyes glass over and they start to skim, which means they may miss something important or worse they get bored and put the book down. Neither option is good. So, for me I have to find the balance, that is why I work with a couple of very different Beta Readers and I work with an amazing Editor. Between my Beta Readers and Editor they help me find the perfect balance and ensure if something important is there, it doesn’t get lost.
My second weakness is spelling and grammar.
I’m severely dyslexic which means, not only reading is a problem for me, but so is spelling and grammar, this is why having amazing Beta Readers (who understand your weaknesses or blind spots) as well as a great Editor are key. Between my Beta’s and my Editor they have found so many still mistakes, and instead of criticising me for them or trying to ‘teach’ me, they help me fix them. It’s helpful and slowly it has improved my writing. I also keep a list of my common spelling mistakes printed out for my reference, which helps.
When it comes to writing know where you need the support so you can find the proper people to assist you with it. These people should be a compliment to you and not try and fix you. If that makes sense.
An additional writing tip for you and it’s been said time and time again. Write what you know. I also want to add to this, write what you love, and write what you want to read. It doesn’t matter if there are a million vampires stories out there, if you have an idea that is exciting, to you, and it’s not something you’ve ever read or seen before, than go for it. If the story is good and if the novel is well crafted (including proofed and copy edited) then people will find it, and enjoy it. You may never get rich from the book, but if you enjoyed writing it and you put it out there then you have already done something that a majority of people can’t and won’t ever do.
Remember, it’s a ‘no’ until you ask.
The last tip I have for you and it’s not a full on writing tip, but more of an author’s tip.
This one is key for any writer, and I can’t stress how important this tip is to every author out there. Learn something about PR and Marketing. We, as writers, don’t talk enough about marketing and public relations. We think the hardest part is writing the book, and don’t get me wrong, that is difficult, but nothing is as hard as having your novel, doing the launch, and then not having any idea what to do next. I’m not saying you have to go out and speak publicly, if that’s not your thing then don’t do it, but find ways to promote your work, because no one is going to do it for you. If you have a publisher they will do some marketing for you, but the rest will be up to you, so you need to understand the basics:
- Have an active Blog (ensure you offer something of value topic wise, share other authors works, interview fellow authors, resources, fun tidbits, things people will find interesting. Also, step out of your genre, share things that have nothing to do with your work.)
- Have a website
- Get involved in Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) but only do the social media you enjoy
- Create a mailing list (this is a slow process) but it’s an important step
- Build a media kit (this link https://blog.reedsy.com/author-media-kit-template/ tells you the basics)
- Learn how to write a Press Release
- Create a media contact list (local TV, Newspapers, magazines, podcasts, etc.)
- Learn how to get reviews (never buy a review) find bloggers and websites that offer reviews
- Learn how to create or pay (if you have the funds) for marketing material such as; business cards, bookmarks, sell sheets, teaser graphics, etc.
- Advertise (if you have the budget) but really know what your goal is, because this can be tricky
- Don’t be afraid to try new things and if something doesn’t work try something different
These are my three tips on writing. I hope you found them helpful. Thank you again to Kevin for having me over.
Thanks for coming over, M.D.
You can find M.D. Neu at his author site – https://www.mdneu.com/
Or at one of his social hangouts below.
For the next in this series of Writing Tips – CLICK HERE