Tuesday, 18 December 2012

What are the mistakes you see in beginner writers?

- Guest Post by Robin L Sanders
One of the beginning mistakes that we all make as writers is having the idea of writing a great story but not knowing how or where to start.  I would often have times of imagining an epic battle but haven’t a clue where to place the scene in the middle of my story.  Some people would prefer to write a story from beginning to the end, which is practical but not possible for many.  Other writers would start off by breaking their story into outlines so whenever they’re lost, they could figure out where to go next or start somewhere else then come back to the scene later.  There was one method I learned from a screenwriter about writing the scenario that you’re most passionate about and begin from there whether forward or backwards.  When I started I had this belief that if you didn’t start from the beginning then you’re not doing it right.  Truth is there is no actual rule of how to start writing a novel, you could just do it the way you feel the most comfortable.  It’s your work so do it the way you feel, do what you want to do, that’s what I learned.
Another big mistake that most writers often do is fail to develop a tough skin.  Writing is considered a literary expression in visual art; the writing industry is filled with critics that live by an established modern code.  Whenever they see something that is of the ordinary, they would either praise or insult the writer without any warning.  Some critics can be spiteful and would wake up every morning with their eyes set on any literature they disliked especially if it was a person. In other words develop the strength to accept criticism.  Constructive criticism is very important and can help sharpen and hone in on your writing skills as well as style.  Actual criticism whether good or bad could be harmful but knowing when and how to handle it could be a big step to becoming a fearless author.  Some writers developed the ability to use negative criticism as a source of fuel to produce more positive work while others are capable of weighing the differences of good and bad criticism.
Horribly written and edited work is a big mistake when publishing a book; placing commas, periods, and proper use of words into sentences without producing fragments are essential elements to having a good novel.  Even if you’ve written over a hundred thousand words in an epic novel it wouldn’t make any difference if you’ve spotted over thousands of errors.  Finding a professional editor can be hard and expensive especially if he’s a real good one.  Finding the right editor is also difficult and could take a long process if they’re real busy or accepting inbox mail from other clients.  I remember being rejected by professional editors from left to right over a years span and when I found one he wasn’t a real good one.  Later I had a friend who was a freelance English teacher who had taught English overseas and decided to edit my work with pay of course.
There can be many major set backs in the writing industry but the greatest mistake that could be ever made is to tell someone about your ideas without copyright protection.  Plagiarism is definitely a crime and is seen as literary suicide in the writing world but that doesn’t stop any money grubbing backstabber who can spot that as a business opportunity.  Working on a story while brainstorming new and creative ideas is definitely hard work.  The lands filled with characters that we created are apart of our lives, as we constantly have to live the roles of each and every one of them.  The stories that we create have an emotional connection with all of us and to have someone take that away from us is not a good feeling at all.  That is why it is very important on having your writing protected by any means as possible.  I’m not stating that it’s bad to exchange any ideas, instead keep the ideas that you want and give some of the ones you’re not interested on keeping to good use.
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Genre – Young Adult / Fantasy
Rating – PG13
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