Friday 3 May 2013

Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction Writers

- Guest Post by Sarah Martinez

I am all about energy. Finding it, sustaining it and communicating it.

Read, absorb what you read, read more, question what you read. Read for fun, decide what pulls you in and try to make your reader’s experience with your work the same.

Read poetry and study the images, word choices, and any other aspects of the work that grab you. Poets are masters of making huge statements or painting vivid images with just a few words. This is an important skill.

Write often. Write daily. Write up your experiences in the most detailed way possible. Include all the senses, even what it feels like to have an intuition or worry.

Be honest.

Be specific.

Be detailed.

Believe in yourself, because nobody else will, at least not in the beginning. Not at the level necessary to keep you going through rejections, bad advice, job loss, illness, grief and everything else life lobs at us. There is something about you as an individual that nobody else has. It takes work to articulate this, to show it off and to make it interesting to others. The world needs new voices, so believe in that if this is all you can do in the beginning. Keep music, quotes, movies, pictures, anything you can around you to remind you what you are working towards.

The best teacher I have ever had is Priscilla Long. She wrote a book called The Writer’s Portable Mentor which covers just about everything from productivity and writing groups to where to submit and how to analyze and choose structures. She spends a lot of time on sentences, especially the compound sentence and explains why having many tools at our disposal is important. Get this book and study it.

I make mentors out of my favorite authors. I listen to their interviews when I am driving in the car. I learn a lot just taking my kids to preschool and feel more like a part of the larger community that way. I also go see them when they come to town. I get pictures with them and post them on my website. This reminds me that they are just people, and it also makes me feel like what they have might possibly be something I can attain, and I am not talking about the prizes either. They talk about commitment and putting in the time. These messages I don’t think I can ever hear enough.

Also, get involved in your own writing community. This has been very important to me. I’ve met everyone from future critique partners, conference roommates, sources of research material, and marketing opportunities just by being involved. Further to this, be the best part of this community you can be, always offer a person something before you ask them to do something for you. You’ll be amazed at what you are able to contribute, even early on.

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Genre – Literary Erotica
Rating – X
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1 comment:

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