Before we begin, I'd like to thank the wonderful, , for giving me the opportunity to be apart of the Wattpad Block Party for the third time in a row. Unfortunately this time around I will not be hosting a giveaway, but you should definitely check out the ones being put on by the other amazing authors that are apart of this event.
How to Write (Successfully)
a failing author's guide to doing the thing he's failing at
I took a break from staring at a blank project in Scrivener to write this post. It's definitely different from the last two. Is it because I had a different mindset back then? Probably.
Over the past few months, I have not written. Why? Partially because I was busy with my CAPE Courses, but also because -- I just didn't know what to write. If I should count on my fingers all the works I've published and later unpublished, I'd need more fingers. In fact, over the course of my almost four years on Wattpad, only two of my works have survived on my profile for more than a year.
My poetry book, Nicotine, and 'The Evolution of Katherine Grey' are undoubtedly my two proudest moments of my Wattpad career. As I've said, I have not written in the past two months, simply because I don't know what to write. How can I ensure, that I will finish it? How could I ensure that I wouldn't unpublish after a month or so?
I started to assess the differences between those two works -- my two best works -- and all the ones that came before and during their 'reign'. I discovered, that I was doing something wrong and that there were a few things, I neglected to practice.
So that we can all learn from my mistake, I'll share those things with you.
This is a guide, on How to Write. (Successfully)
1. WRITE FOR YOURSELF
This might be the most cliche thing on this list. But incidentally, it is also the most important. Writing is an artform, authors are artists. The relationship between the art and the artist is beyond physical, it's emotional -- spiritual even. In order for an artist to be comfortable with his art, his art must reflect himself. His hidden emotions, his voice, and beliefs. We write for ourselves as an escape, to wander into our own imagination. As a form of relief, from the burdens of our own lives. Write to make yourself feel comfortable, use your art as an instrument to accomplish your goals.
Never write to please your target audience, instead find a target audience who are pleased by what you write.
2. WRITE WITH INTENT
To inform, to inspire, etc. In all things we do, we must have a purpose. Giving your writing a purpose from the get go is exactly what you need to ensure that you will keep going. Before you start a new work, think "What are my intentions when writing this story?" Good or bad, you must have one and knowing the intention of the work gives knowledge of the direction in which the work should go. That way, you may never get lost.
Under this point, you must identify the feelings you wish to invoke within your readers. This helps to set the tone of your writing. For Nicotine, I wanted my readers to experience my persona's pain of an unrequited love, and the different emotions that came along with that pain.
3. WRITE WITH A MESSAGE
Every good story, has an even better moral. You must always teach lesson that needs to be learned. A good message is positive, and will have an impact (even a small one) on your readers' lives.
4. WRITE WITH A PLAN
This speaks directly to plot, having a strong plot gives you a guide to carry your story. Having a detailed outline, for some people, can fend off even the worst writer's block.
The plot is the backbone of the story, without it you won't ever know what to build.
It's as though you're trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle in the dark, you aren't sure of which pieces you have, where to put them, nor can you identify the pieces you don't have. Never go in blind. Even if all you have is the beginning and the end. Always have a plan.
You can refer to my to my first ever block party post (Wattpad Block Party Summer Edition 2017) for more information on how to construct a solid plot outline.
5. WRITE NOW, EDIT LATER
We all have an inner critic, hell I critique other people's work for fun. However, you can't let your critic stop you from having fun.
If you attempt to police what you write, you will never finish the work. The first draft is always the worst -- even if it's good. Annihilate the idea of perfection on the first try, after you've finished writing, you have plenty of time to read, re-read, re-write, edit, re-draft as much as you need to. Accept that your work will never be perfect the first time -- but that doesn't stop it from being exceptional after your 300th edit.
The Evolution of Katherine Grey, has been fully edited at least 20 times (with around four different endings) until I was finally satisfied with it. Had I worried about it having flawless grammar before I finished the first draft, it probably would've never been finished.
That's it for my few tips, I'm happy to share them with you and I hope that they help in someway or another. I know they will definitely help me whenever I decide to tackle my next project.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read to the end of my post, and I wish you the best Block Party and summer.
See you next time,
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