Writing is not easy. Words drain a writer's mind and soul before they form a captivating book. Hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and months turn into years before a book is ready to reach readers.
For all the hard work that goes into writing, for all the patience and perseverance that an author lives by, why not give all the aspiring authors a chance to hop onto this journey and explore their passion for writing?
Here are a few helpful tips for the aspiring authors:
1) Prologues are not a way to dump information on readers. This is a common scenario in fantasy and science fiction books. All the extra details and important facts are plainly written down in the prologue. Sometimes, the entire structure of a dystopian world or society is explained in the prologue.
This is a good way to make sure that most readers do not read past your prologue.
Yes, this is a serious concern. You have to understand that prologues are snippets that will capture your readers' attention and make them want to read ahead. The above mentioned details and information should be disclosed bit by bit as the story unfolds.
Most authors advise to skip prologues altogether because of this misuse. However, if you use prologues the right way, then you can absolutely go ahead and use them.
2) Spend a significant amount of time writing the opening paragraph. Write down a number of openings and select the one that appeals the most to you. This opening paragraph is the one that basically makes a reader decide if the book is worth the time or not.
Some overused openings to avoid are weather descriptions, alarm clocks, dream sequences, flashbacks, and waking up scenarios.
3) Keep filler chapters to a minimum. If possible, avoid them altogether. Filler chapters are those that do not really contribute in moving the plot forward. They exist solely to increase the word count of the book or to simply engage the reader more with the characters, the setting, or the plot.
4) Avoid over exaggerating descriptions and excessive use of figure of speech. As opposed to what most aspiring authors believe, complicated vocabulary, fancy descriptions and excessive figure of speech do not impress the readers. These things annoy the readers because reading such writing becomes a chore. The book will most probably be classified as boring and kept aside.
5) Don't fall in love with your words. Of course, you should be your biggest fan and you should write only what you love. But don't let the words become so special to you that you can't edit them. Your heart might be clinging onto them even when your mind clearly tells you to get rid of them.
This is what editing truly means. Editing is basically getting rid of all the words that were once special but are no longer so. Edit ruthlessly.
6) Endings can make or break your book. Once a reader finishes reading the book and the last page is flipped, it is the ending that stays with the reader. They will remember the story because of the ending.
For this reason, do not make your ending too complicated, do not haywire it to surprise the reader, do not leave the reader hanging (unless there is a sequel), and do not elaborate the moral of the story or the lessons learnt.
7) Lastly, do not lose hope. Writing a book is a long process. Getting published is an even longer process. Marketing to make your book sell is a never-ending process. So to survive as an author, stick with just two things; patience and perseverance.
I hope these tips will help you in polishing up your book. Remember that writing is a beautiful but painful journey, littered with shards of glass and rose petals. Be patient and persevere and you will soon transform from being an aspiring author to a published author.
All the best for your first story.
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This article was written by Kulsum. Kulsum is a best selling author of Love of a Stranger.