Post #200- Seven Tips on how to become an even better writer

This is my 200th blog post so I wanted it to be extra-special! Annette Rogers of Poisoned Pen Press in Arizona was one of the presenters at the Southwest Valley Writers Conference that I recently attended. She outlined seven tips that will help you become an even better (and hopefully published!) writer that I’ll share here:

Story: According to Annette, you need to be as engaged in the story you’re writing as your readers. Your story needs a beginning, middle, and an end that are all easy to follow. There should be a protagonist and an unlikeable villain, and the tale you’re telling doesn’t need to be true; it just needs to work on the page.

Unexpected: Editors are looking for something different that hasn’t been written before and they love surprises, especially those that make them exclaim “What?!”  Out loud.

Concrete: Readers need to know what’s happening at all times; don’t count on them assuming anything. The story details and the path it’s going down may be clear to you as the writer, but perhaps not so much to them.

Credible: The story needs to be believable which means you need to do your homework. Research any unknowns thoroughly beforehand, including experiencing things you aren’t familiar with (i.e. firing a gun) so you can write authentically about them.

Emotions: Readers have to care about the characters and what’s happening to them. Annette used Harry Potter as a prime example of this. By the time the series came to an end, we all felt like Harry, Ron, Hermione, and even Severus Snape, were our good friends.

Setting: Every good novel needs a strong sense of place that reinforces both the atmosphere and emotions in the story. Readers need to know things like where they are and what time period they’re in. 

Simple: Your book should be in great shape by the time it arrives on an editor’s desk. Editors aren’t teachers or mentors and they have no desire, or time, to fix an incomplete book.  

 If you’re an acrostic’s fan, you’ll immediately notice that these seven tips spell success-which is what you’ll achieve if you follow them!


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