Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! The sweet, sassy, and Southern Elle Boon is visiting this week with some terrific advice for new writers.
Hi, Elle! Thanks for being here, and I hope we can get together at RAGT again this year!
My Advice For New Writers
Being a new writer is hard, filled with lots of pitfalls, but it is also a wonderful place to be. You don’t have mistakes that already mark your career that you need to overcome. I am a new writer, but I have been a part of the writing community for many years in one form or another.
I started out as a reader when my youngest child started school. I then became a reviewer for the National Readers Choice Awards. I then attended my first reader-author conference where I befriended a few authors. From there, I became a critique/beta reader for a couple of them. That was waaaayyyy back in 2007. Oy, that seems like a lifetime ago.
After several years of helping authors, many of whom are NYT and USA Today bestsellers, they encouraged me to submit a story I had written. That story is now published and I’m on book 4 in the series.
With all that being said, my biggest advice is to never give up. I started writing in journals as a young girl. Poems, stories, and general things girls write. As I got older, the things I wrote depended on my moods. I didn’t get serious with my writing until 2011, after hanging out after a reader-author conference with a group of ladies. We call ourselves “The Bitches,” and one of the ladies I beta for said, “You should write a book.” So I went home and while in the shower Selena’s Men came to me.
The second advice I would give new authors is to not let other people, whether they be new or old friends, sway you. Don’t let them make you think you are less than you are. If you have success, you will have those who will be happy for you and there will be those that are jealous. Stay true to yourself. Don’t become what you think others expect you to be. If you are just you, people will continue to love you and your work because it’s honest.
Third, always be grateful. Say thank you to everyone who has helped you, no matter how much they’ve helped, because they didn’t have to do anything. You don’t have to fawn all over them or give them expensive things. A simple heartfelt thank you goes a long way.
Fourth, don’t assume you know how to write. Just because you are published doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing. Lol. Seriously, this is true. With each book I’ve written, I learn new things, new techniques, and become a better writer. There is always room for improvement. When a more seasoned author offers you advice, take it. You can always grow as a person and a writer.
Fifth, pay it forward. This is very important. When a new author comes along, offer advice and support. Pass on knowledge that you’ve been given, since you were once where they were. Don’t get too big for your britches and don’t, for the love of all, become a DIVA. ☺
Now when you are sitting down to write your first book, I suggest you keep lots of notes, whether it’s on google doc, or word, or on old-fashioned paper. Each author has a different way of writing. For me, I like having my info on paper when I start out. You should keep a character log. Make sure you keep the details of each person handy. Jot down notes of what they look like, what their height and weight are. Do they say a specific phrase? If they connect a certain scent to the heroine, what is it? When you are into the story, it’s good to have that doc or book near—that way you can add to it as you go.
You want to always be open for criticism from readers, reviewers, and last but not least editors. NEVER, and I mean NEVER engage a reader or reviewer when they give a negative review. Everyone has their right to their opinion, and just because they didn’t like your story, you should never argue with them. Be grateful they took the time to read and review your work. Take the constructive criticism and learn from it. If it’s just a bashing, then you’ll just be feeding them and make yourself look bad, so just don’t do it. As for editors, take their feedback and learn what to do and what not to do for next time. I’ve found with each book, I have less and less edits.
Now, I said never engage a negative, but you should always when possible say thank you when someone has posted a review or given you a compliment in regards to your work.
The reason I write isn’t to become rich and famous, although I sure would love it, but because I have all these stories in my head. If you think you are going to become rich overnight or sell a thousand copies of your first book, I wish you luck. I really do. However, I don’t think that happens to most of us new authors.
My final piece of advice is to be happy with what you have. I’m happy to be published. I’m happy with all my friends I have. All the ones I had before I became published and all the ones I’ve made since. I can honestly say I am blessed beyond measure.
Am I rich? No, not monetarily, but I am beyond wealthy in the fact I have friends and family that love me. I have readers that I call friends and vice versa. I have fellow authors who I call friends and vice versa. And I know when and if I stumble, there are going to be lots of hands there to help me up. That, my friends, is what you want to have as a new author. Lots of hands willing to help you up.
I’m a wife and mother who is a retired stay at home mom of 2. I say retired because my youngest is 14 and my oldest is 21 eeek. When my baby went to school, reading saved my sanity, and then the same year he started school, I was diagnosed with Cancer, again reading saved my sanity. When I recovered and realized how quickly life could change, I made a bucket list. The number one thing was to live. Check. On top of that list was to become a published author. Check. Eight years later I have accomplished that goal and several others.
I live in the Midwest, but I”m a southern girl with only a slight twang who says y’all quite frequently, and am known to say “Bless Your Heart” A LOT. If you know what that means, you do not want to be the one I say that to, lol. I cuss worse than if a trucker and a sailor were put together, but I do it with class *WEG*.
I write what I love to read, erotic romance. My books are definitely full of lots of story, but I leave nothing to the imagination in or out of the bedroom. My hope is that after readers have read one of my stories, they fall in love with the characters as much as I have.
The best part of my new journey is that I get to create new worlds, and have all kinds of stories in my head just waiting to be written. I truly love to hear from readers. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter or my website, but I’m on Facebook all the time, so find me. I’d love to you from you ☺.
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/elle.boon
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elle-Boon-Author/1429718517289545
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Boon/e/B00K03HY42/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1415849092&sr=1-2-ent
Elle, give a holler if you ever need a hand! I know you'd do the same for me!
Romance...With A Kick!