MORE Common Mistakes Writers Make

A lot of writers not just newer and novice writers are making these mistakes in their writing. If you’re a bit more aware of them you can definitely improve your writing and take it to the next level.

1) Thesaurus madness or thesaurus disease. It is when writers seem to be afraid of using the basic English language. Words that are straightforward and that people use all the time to describe things. They look up synonyms and antonyms of those words and decide the big fancy word with a lot of syllables will make me sound really, really smart.

When you can use a 1 cent word you actually come across as either pretentious or like you don’t know what you’re talking about when you are using 2 or 3 dollar words. If your reader has to look up the defination to understand what they are reading it can annoy them and they often stop reading your writing.

Synonyms aren’t always that accurate in substituting for the word you are trying to replace. The synonym may not have exactly the same meaning especially in the context of the sentence. You want to have clear concise words that the majority of readers are going to understand. You want to avoid misusing words and essentially sounding dumb. When you use fancy words you often sound like you are trying too hard.

When you have way too many characters with names and elaborate backstories that don’t do anything concrete or important in the story, it is often called character soup. Unless your story is about a group of friends you do not need 15-20 characters. It is way too hard keeping track of who they are or being able to tell them apart.

A character who doesn’t contribute to the primary plot, the conflict, or character growth are essentially deadweight in your story. When you have character soup combine characters. You may find that you have supporting characters in different places in your writing and they essentially perform the same function just in different places. Challenge yourself to take character X, Y, and C and put them into one character. Or take character X and get a little bit creative with how this one character would be in all of these places but essentially performing the same function. You are going to end up with tighter characterization and a more dynamic book.

Recognize when dialogue and scenes fill a lot of pages but they don’t actually move the plot forward. Look at scenes in your books and think how does this contribute to the overall plot or your A plot, B plot, your conflict, or character growth. Every scene should do something, every bit of dialogue should do something, whether it is character development or moving the plot forward.

Create a scene card for every single scene in your story. Put where the characters are, who is in the scene, where they start, and where they end. Clarify the function of every scene in your book and you can start to see that if you can answer the question of where do they start, where they end up, and what is the point of that scene. Rearrange as necessary for your story to flow.

Be very careful with tense shifting. You can use the free version of Grammarly to assist you with tense and any other grammar issues. There are great resources to help you with this so you can relax and write.

Typically your book is going to be told from a single point of view. If you are doing a close point of view then you should only be showing the reader and doing things from the perspective of that character. You can of course have multi points of view but don’t shift back and forth in any single scene or section. If you want to switch POVs (point of views) to another character in a multi POV story especially if you are doing third-person, you would want to do that with section breaks or chapter breaks.

Avoid using overly formal language and refusing to use contractions. Many writers feel contractions are too informal.
Using contractions especially in dialogue can be a character choice. It is a way to present a character who is more formal. Pull back from contractions if you were writing a historical piece but generally if you are writing any modern fiction and you want to have your readers not to be tripping over words, use contractions.

Don’t be afraid to show your work to other people. Sharing your work with others and getting feedback from peers essentially critique partners is so valuable to the writing process. None of us can really write and be creative in a vacuum. You’re always going to have to get feedback from other people. Hear that constructive criticism, take it on board, and then use that to improve your work. You’re going to get constructive criticism from an agent, you’re going get it from an editor. You’re going to have to learn to work with an editor and an agent so the best way to do that is critique partners. Share your work, don’t be afraid of criticism. You can look for critique partners who aren’t going to tear you apart.

You can ask for a compliment sandwich for constructive criticism or even sometimes cheerleading. If you do not share your work you end up writing in a vacuum and thus never improving. Started recognizing and breaking yourself of the habit of hiding your writing. Share your work with others and be open to hearing feedback, actually taking it on board, and using it to make your writing better.

We are, of course, all quite attached to our writing. When we’re not beating ourselves up for being horrible because of impostor syndrome. We tend to like our writing, it’s precious to us because it comes from our hearts. We pour it onto the page, we love the stories, the characters that we have, and very often we do get very sentimentally attached to scenes that we either had a lot of fun writing, or we had a really clever idea, or we really got funny in that scene, or a character has a moment in that scene. You have to learn to let go even of the things that you love.

You’re always going to have things that are relatively easy to cut because you’re not super duper attach to them. You’re like okay fine. In every book there’s going to be that thing that you love, you really love it. It could be a sentence, or a character, or a chapter, or scene, or what have you and you have to cut it. It is an obstacle in the way of your book working. You might resist at first. You have permission to resist at first, because we all resist at first. You’ll find that when you eventually come around and you learn to kill those things that are precious to you, it unlocks the whole book. It makes everything better. You miss it, but it was the right thing to do.

Start on the journey of learning to kill your darlings. You can start off slow, cut a sentence, cut a scene but save everything. Some of those darlings that are sitting off somewhere else every once in a while you will find a way to use some of them. Darlings that had been cut in other places, whether it’s a character that you had to kill, or if it’s a turn of phrase that just was not working on that page or happened to be in the middle of a theme that later was dead weight, and you had to cut the scene. Save these things. You can use them later, perhaps in the same story or in another story.

MORE Writing Advice!

Stop making excuses about not having enough time to write because you do have the time you just have to want to make the time. Every single writer has to do this. No one really has the time, we are all incredibly busy, we have responsibilities, jobs, family, and so on and the reality is something’s got to give if you are being serious about writing. You make the time. You get up early before work to write, you stay up late, you don’t watch the TV show you want to watch, you don’t make plans with your friends every weekend, you make the time to write.

Now of course there are always going to be times when you just don’t have the emotional bandwidth or you need to exercise self-care but I’m not talking about those times. I’m talking about all of you out there who are making excuses for why you can’t write because oh you just don’t have time. I guarantee you that 99% of the time something can be thrown out of your life schedule so you can make time for writing. All of us have to do it so buck up buttercup and make the time.

There are people out there who are just naturally more talented at writing, there are people out there who do have more time than you do, there are people out there who have this ideal set of traits that makes them a natural at writing. It can be hard to write but decide why you want to write and that will help you not only find the time but write as well.

Just because someone else is more talented than you are or writing comes more easily to them doesn’t mean you can’t stay with your plan to write. You can get just as far as they do or even surpass them by putting in the work. Putting in the time does make a difference. The first piece of writing that you put out into the world as your professional writing debut matters. People do consider first impressions so the first creative work that is associated with your name can often stick with you and follow you.

If you are impatient and you are rushing and you just want to hit publish on something but you are not taking care with what that thing is you might have to make some edits to your work. This industry does reward a little bit of patience and strategy when it comes to your creative career. You can also do everything right and your debut still doesn’t go the way you want it to and you just have to kind of grin and bear it, acknowledge it, strategize to move forward, and move on.
You just have to do your best and work around it.

Great books fail all the time it’s not necessarily about quality or how good you are, sometimes you’re just unlucky, things don’t go your way, you either never get your shot on that amazing book that you wrote, or you publish it yourself and no one reads it. Or you can get an amazing huge book deal and then no one cares or you’re badly reviewed or you just fall into a black hole. It happens all the time and you just have to be resilient and pick yourself back up and move forward or you let Publishing swallow you whole.

There are those who have a ton of side projects, who have a ton of creative projects that are kind of related to writing but are not actually writing. They are kind of dancing around writing. If you do all of these side things in lieu of seriously writing, of writing books, of completing projects, and getting out there and actually being a writer that you’re essentially spinning your wheels and wasting your time. There always has to be balance between all the side stuff that you do and actually writing.

Many people are more in love with the idea of being a writer than actually being a writer. It is easy to talk about writing, to style yourself as a writer, to be really great at Twitter or Instagram or YouTube or what have you or starting other businesses. You can do those things if you were doing them and actually writing and actually pushing forward in your writing career. If you are just spinning your wheels because you like the idea of being a writer, you like styling yourself as one but you are never actually writing and moving forward in your writing career you need to look at your motive and desire to be a writer. Some people just like to play at being a writer. You are not a writer if you are not actually writing.

Actually do the work, make the time, sit down, write the books, deal with the fact that publishing can be super unfair, and just do the work. Even when you do the work, it is not always necessarily going to work out the way you want. Not everyone is going to love everything you write. Nothing is universally loved and inevitably someone is going hate what you wrote and you will have to learn to deal with that. You are going to have to learn to deal with rejection, with criticism, or just understand that people love having opinions. Their opinion of you doesn’t matter so do not take it personally.

Once you put something out into the world, it no longer really belongs to you. People can say anything they want about you. Develop a thicker skin, toughen up, brush stuff off, and let it roll right off your back. If you let any negative review or criticism destroy you, you are not going make it. Be more resilient than that.

Just because you have got a great idea doesn’t mean you should write about it. Sometimes there are simply projects and ideas that are so far outside of our lane or just really badly timed that you shouldn’t do it. Carefully consider your ideas, what they are, and why you want to write them. The soul-searching of why you want to write certain ideas, why you feel that you are the person to bring this idea to the market, that process is really valuable and you may find at the end of it you know what you can write. Do research on your topic and then decide if it is the right time to write about your topic.

Sometimes no matter how sensitively you approach something it is just not going work. If you are the wrong person to write the idea you may get a lot of flack and a lot of blow back. Really consider what ideas you work on and why you want to write them. While you might be the right writer to write something, sometimes the answer is to take a step back and let go.
If you get the feeling you know that’s a great idea, but I just don’t think I’m the right writer to write it and then don’t.

Having a great voice in writing matters a lot. It can be make-or-break for a career. You can’t teach voice. You really can’t learn voice. You know it when you read it and you do too as a reader when you pick up a book. If you were reading it and you get this sense that no other author could write like this, no other author does write like this, or you read a line and go oh that was written so well. If you are reading something and just the mood, tone and atmosphere and a specificity drips off the page that is voice.

If you love writing and you love stories, you don’t just like the idea of being a writer, you’re actually a writer who writes things, you don’t let yourself get distracted by side businesses and projects, and you are able to pick yourself up and just forge forward and deal with all of the things others are saying about your writing then you are going to make it. Just enjoy every aspect of your writing career.

Explore Genres

A great way to explore genres is to do reading in that genre. Find your favorite books within that genre. Discover what the feel of that genre is and what appeals to you about it. What are some of your favorite things to read about in that genre. What made you love a book. What are the dynamics you enjoyed. What tips could you use for your writing that could give your books the same or a similar feel.

In reality a lot of people use reading as an escape. Some books are more character-driven stories and not so much a plot driven story. Try out each of these strategies and see which you enjoy writing. Your plot driven story will appeal to a plot driven reader and the same for the character driven story. You will find the readers who like each of those approaches.

The plot driven story just really shows the nitty-gritty of your characters lives as they are being impacted with the way the things in the story line happen to them. It shows the nitty-gritty of their relationships and sometimes holds back zero punches. It can be really emotional. It is driven by events that are encountered.

A character driven story shows the depth of your characters as they are going through the events in the story. It is more about how they feel and how they react to what is happening. These can be just as emotional as the plot driven stories but have more focus on the characters and their reactions and actions.

Either type can be one of those books that will stick with you for a very, very, very long time. Every detail matters and in the end each type of story can come together in really intricate ways.

WRITING ADVICE!

Stop twisting yourself into pretzels over your writing idea being perfect or original or worrying about what another author already did. Writing what brings an original spark to a book is how you write it.

By writing books you are going to teach yourself how to write stories and twist them to make them interesting and original. It is a process. Let go of that desperate need for validation and attention and just write your book. All writing is practice.

Stop making excuses for not starting and not writing and not pushing through and not finishing your book. They are a complete waste of your time. Writer’s block is an illusion that doesn’t exist, it is an excuse for not writing. You have to form a writing habit and just discipline yourself to write even when you don’t feel like it. Not feeling like writing is an imaginary writer’s block. Teach yourself how to push through this.

Keep writing and keep improving. Practice more or write another book or try a different idea. Sample different genres and see what you like. This is how you grow as a writer. Put yourself out there and face rejection if it comes, embrace it, learn and grow.

Brainstorming endlessly about your book isn’t writing. You can spin your wheels for weeks, months, years preparing to write. Talking about writing is not actually writing. Find what is holding you back and stop procrastinating.

Writing is largely solitary, you do it by yourself. Write for the right reasons. Like writing, love writing , do storytelling, do revising, do editing and find the thing that you love. Pursue that thing or try different strategies, invent games to make writing fun. Write, throw away all the fear and the excuses and write. You can’t be a writer unless you write and you can’t get better unless you write. Just be happy writing your book(s).

Decide if you want to publish the book yourself or explore traditional publishing. Then learn everything about each method of getting your writing published. When you are ready, you will know which way you want to go.

9 Tips for a Satisfying Plot

9 tips on how to write a satisfying plot.

1) Genre awareness. Genres exist for a reason so that people can find books they will find enjoyable to read. Know what makes a satisfying plot in the genre you select. Some principles and obstacles in character relationships really exist in all genres but they appear in different ways in the different genres. It is especially necessary when talking about writing a satisfying plot.

2) Change and growth. Stories are essentially made of change. A novel is made up of many little changes that add up to create the primary change. If there is no change, there is no story happening. There is no narrative and is just a situation. Where nothing is changing that is not a relevant moment to be including or the moment isn’t pulling its weight within the plot.

Little changes in the plot should be causing changes within the character also. If the characters emotional state and just state as a human are not changing throughout a long period of time then that’s also not really relevant to the plot. The story is a story because of the character and what is happening to the character. With no changes you have created kind of a lull in your plot where nothing is essentially happening. Change and growth are the foundation of the plot.

3) Setup and payoff. This is a term that is used a lot in screenwriting, but is very important for no matter what kind of story you are writing. Setup and payoff is quite simple. As a concept it essentially just means that what you introduce into the story pays off later on. You introduce in the beginning even things that might not seem substantial which turn out to be substantial and affect the plot throughout or often towards the end. If you are feeding threads into your story and then they never affect it, those threads aren’t really necessary or satisfying. Introduce threads into the beginning and have those threads weave all the way through. Then have a causal relationship where they effect the plot in the end.

4) Have an element. Whenever that element is introduced in the beginning, it might seem important at the time or not. When that element is relevant and important, hopefully in kind of an unexpected way, that can be really satisfying later on for its unpredictability. We generally expect that a good story isn’t going to be predictable and a boring story is going to be predictable. In some books unpredictability comes from possibly a drastic plot twist where everything is shaken up. You don’t necessarily need a plot twist or a dramatic turn, but rather it just means that the plot progresses in a way that could not be foreseen from the beginning.

5) Causality. It essentially is a domino effect with every scene being necessitated by the previous scene. In Poetics by Aristotle (which is one of the oldest books on storytelling theory) he explains that a strong plot is one where you cannot disrupt or remove a single event without disrupting the entirety of the whole. For the most part, the majority of your plot has as many scenes as possible that are caused by a domino effect. Every time you are hiding the scene ask yourself if the previous scene wasn’t there could this scene still happen? Then ask yourself does this cause the next scene?

6) Mystery and revelation. You know stories are made up of questions, a plot line or a premise. It is just a bunch of little questions that make up the book. A lot of them will need to be answered for clarity, but others need to be left on the table for suspense. Ask questions a) who is this person b) what’s going on c) what’s going to happen.

Those questions will be more specific based on the actual plot and this pairs with revelation. Revelation is the other part that goes along with mystery. Mystery sets up. Revelation ties together. These two together are what make a plot satisfying. It needs to happen at the proper rate. If you don’t answer any questions your plot will be really confusing.

There is going to be a lot of information you are going to need to setup at the beginning. Those are the questions that are being answered. Answer the questions that you need to answer for clarity. Then there are going be some questions you want to leave open.

7) Suspense and snap. Suspense is a common term and is often tied to mystery. Mystery is more of an intellectual thing whereas suspense is more of a visceral reaction and the stress you feel related to unknown outcome.

Snap is the jump-scare. Snap is the culmination of suspense in this energetic moment. This is often a key moment off an important one in the plot. It is that you have been building up – so much suspense and then it snaps. Those moments especially in certain genres like thrillers you expect. Many genres cna use this kind of snap moment and it can appear in different forms. It is the actualization or action making use of that suspense you have built up.

8) Emotional balance and cohesion. I hear writers often say I want my reader to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster or I hear readers say the book was an emotional roller coaster but I would be careful with this idea. Obviously emotional range is really great and important if it is the same emotion throughout. If this emotional rollercoaster you have created is lacking in other elements like logic or causality especially, then it is actually not very satisfying. It can really impact your characterization. If your character doesn’t have a stable emotional thread whether they are an emotionally stable person or not, it can be hard to track and feel their emotions.

If they are just jumping from emotional state to emotional state to make the reader feel those emotions it can actually be really hard to invest in the character and develop a sense for who the character is. The reader is not actually getting a chance to experience who the character is or learn about them or what their emotional threat is because of this jumbled mess of emotion. Emotional range is good as long as it’s cohesive and there is causality to it.

Another aspect of this is the push and pull of hope and despair. It is essentially the idea that at any point in time in your story there should be both hope and despair. There is always despair in the hope and there is always hope in the despair. Without hope in the despair there is no point going on because there is seemingly no possible way that this problem could be resolved. Hope is what keeps the reader and the character going. Without hope there is no tension at all. Hope means that there is no conflict, everything is resolved.

9) Unrest and resolution. A story is essentially the story of unrest. In most plot lines by this model, you have a character who has some sort of emotional or internal unrest but they don’t have a way of changing it. The inciting incident gives them an opportunity to change this unrest that they feel within their life no matter what kind of form it takes. They have an opportunity to change.

The resolution doesn’t necessarily mean they have achieved what they wanted, but it means their opportunity in which they could see the kind of change in their life they wanted has come to an end. Through this example you have unrest and then the resolution caps it off, whether this is positive or negative. Whether the character has succeeded or not, whether they have changed their life or themselves for the better or not.

Resolution basically means that the plot is now going to de-energize and the reader knows that part of the story is over. This aspect of the character’s life or maybe the character’s life as a whole is not going to be changing substantially or have the opportunity to change substantially anymore. In the way we were exploring this idea throughout the story with the reader. Sometimes this resolution isn’t always fully explored, it is the imminent promise of resolution.

The reader knows that resolution is about to happen shortly after the end, but that is basically the same thing – the imminent promise of resolution. Or resolution itself signals the end of the period of unrest no matter what the characters emotional state is. It means the character can’t affect or change their life any more really to any significant margin so the reader kind of feels that sense of closure. The story is over no matter what that means emotionally that’s kind of what makes your story feel like a whole.

Use a Creative Writing Journal

How to use a creative writing journal. Write anything that comes to mind which isn’t directly related to your life. Story ideas, locations, characters, random thoughts, start with and use your ideas to start to write your story. You are going to add the plot and events. Jot down what your goals are. Use all of those things on your list to construct a short story.

Pick a word out of your journal entries and write a paragraph or a little short story, either including that word or based on that word. These are called word prompts.

Write several stories coming from completely different directions. Then write more conversations and dialogues to match the different stories you are creating. If you have a character collection, start changing out your stories and see if the plot changes in your writing. Look for words to help you find inspiration. Write down loads of observations about the country and people you are introducing to your story.

Write down little prompts as you think of them or they can escape from you. Think of a name, age, apparent talents, something your character would totally do, something they definitely wouldn’t do, professional aspirations and their biggest regrets. Keep colecting these short senerios. They can be added as you are inspired.

Read a little of what you have done and then sprinkle in some of your inspirations to enhance your plot. If you are part way through the writing when you have to stop, you have it in your journal and can start again when you have another time you can write.

Sometimes you will end up putting several of your short stories together. It can be interesting how they blend. No right or wrong, just keep having fun with your words, story lines, characters and your finished projects.

Fun Creative Writing Exercises

If you feel like you have a lot of pent-up creative energy in you, here are some tips. If you don’t do anything creative for a while you might tend to get kind of artistically frustrated. If you have a bigger project, occasionally sit down and do short creative writing activities just to release some of the pent up energy. Put something on a page practice, then go back to your bigger project.

For ideas look at random pictures, look at a Wikipedia page about the subject you are writing about. On the left there is a link called random article. You can click on it then write for five minutes about the article. You might use that short writing project to rewrite an important scene in your book from a different characters point of view. You can also write each chapter in multiple perspectives to choose the one that fits best for telling the story. you get to know each character a lot better and it makes the story more complex and deeper. Those different ideas just might shine through at different moments.

This next activity is really fun. It’s kind of like found treasure. Pick two different things you can print out like two different newspaper or magazine articles. Cut both of the articles in half and put the halves together. See what you can add or subtract to come up with a story you like. Just have fun.

Description overload can be a problem. Using too many adjectives doesn’t mean you are a good writer or a creative writer. Come up with a very bare-bones description. Look at it to see what might need to be added to have the story more clear to your reader.

Make your writing more exciting using the five senses. Describe what your characters smell, what they felt or, what they heard. How can you describe things in a way that’s interesting and makes the reader feel like they’re actually there. That seems like a very simple thing to do and a very like obvious thing, but it can be interesting. Taking a second to stop and think about what all of your senses are feeling. Take your main character and think about everything that he or she is experiencing in that moment.

Have someone give you three numbers. Go to one of your bookshelves. For the first number, count off how many books. For the second number use it for the page. for the third number find the sentence. Time yourself for five to ten minutes and use that sentence as the first sentence in your writing exercise. Keep writing from that point.

These are great creative writing exercises. You might find you are writing for a lot longer than you originally planned. Sometimes it even ends up being a short story and that is really exciting when that happens.

How to Write a Book: 12 Foundational Steps

So you want to write a book? Here are 12 good foundational steps that you can follow.
1) Establish your writing space. Decide what you need: solitude? Make sure you find a place where you can have privacy and silence. Set up your equipment and space so you can easily write.
2) Assemble your writing tools. Make a list of all the things you’re going to need: EX: paper clips or a stapler. Have those within arm’s length so you don’t get distracted by having to look for things if you need them.
3) Break the project into as many small pieces as you can. Realize it’s a 4 to 500 page manuscript in the end but that’s made up of sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Do one step at a time.
4) Settle on your big idea or storyline.
5) Construct your outline to have some sort of idea where you are going. Outlining ideas are covered in another post for you. Give yourself some direction of where you’re going. Your outline serves you not the other way around. If you find yourself drifting from it, change the outline, don’t change the book.
6) Set a firm writing schedule that includes a definite finish time. The way you do that is figure out roughly how many pages you are going to write for your book, (300, 400, 500,etc) and divide that into the number of days you are giving yourself to write. This may change once you get started and realize how many or how few pages you can write per day. Schedule yourself for the number of pages you can comfortably write. Be determined so you will stay on schedule. It can be adjusted as needed. Only about 1 in 100 writers literally meet their deadlines. If you just meet your finish goal, you set yourself apart from ninety nine out of a hundred writers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re going find the time to write because without a dedicated time schedule you will be distracted by a concert, a ballgame, a favorite TV show or other events in your life.
7) Draw from your own experience and research the details you are using in your content. If you can pull off a compelling first line, it will set the tone for your entire book. Every decision you make in your manuscript should go through the filter of your reader first, not you first, not editor first, not agent first, not reviewer first, or not critic first. Reader first.
8) Fill your story with conflict and tension when it is appropriate for your story line. Readers crave tension and yes this applies to fiction and nonfiction as well. What will keep people turning the pages.
9) Turn off your internal editor while you’re writing your first draft. Most writers I know are perfectionist s and have that inner critic sitting on our shoulder telling us what’s wrong with every word we write. That inner critic is just you or me and that critic needs to be told to shut up now. Always save your editing until the next day at least and the longer you can wait between when you write it and when you edit it the better for the end manuscript.
10) The marathon is in the middle. If there’s any place you want to quit it’s going to be during the middle of your book. We have great ideas to start and we can’t wait to get to that big finish but now we’ve got all those pages in the middle to fill. Keep yourself encouraged as you go through this section.
11) Write a resounding ending. To make sure your ending doesn’t fizzle, you give it the time it deserves. Do whatever it takes to make it work. Try several endings to see what will fit the best with the whole story.
12) Polish your manuscript to the point where you’re happy with every word. If you are going to a publisher they can tell within a few minutes whether your manuscript is going to be worth reading or rejecting.

About Bad Reviews

Nobody likes getting a bad review. We would prefer it if everyone agreed that our books were outstanding. As a writer you are going to get bad reviews. Don’t take it personally. You can’t please everyone. Then again, do you really want to?

Here are a few tips on how to deal with them.

Use Any Criticism to Improve
This is harder to do when you are first starting out and everything feels like a punch to your gut. Focus on a bad review as nothing but a new piece of feedback, helping you to develop and improve. Don’t try to rewrite it to overcome any bad review. If that feedback is echoed from multiple readers, consider changing the content.

Remember: sorting the helpful benefits from a bad review gets easier.

Not all Reviews are Created Equal
Some bad reviews offer honest and insightful comments about your book, judging it on its own merits and comparing it to alternative products in the market. These are good reviews, even if they don’t happen to like your book.

You will get both kinds of reviews, but your readers are just like you: they’ll be able to decipher which category each review falls into and react accordingly. In the same way, don’t take all bad reviews to heart. Some carry useful feedback and others are best left ignored.

Expand Your Pool of Proofreaders
It might be good to have more people checking for any grammatical errors or plot problemss are caught early. before your book gets into the hands of your readers. Fewer issues with your book mean fewer bad reviews.

Separate Yourself From Your Writing
Rarely does a reviewer mean something personal when they say they didn’t like your book – they’re expressing their opinion of the writing, nothing more. And just because somebody doesn’t like your book doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t like one of your other books, or that they don’t like you, or that your writing isn’t good.

It still stings, but try to remember that even though your book is a result of your passion, beliefs and imagination, it is not you.

Ignore Them
There is a rule in publishing: do not respond to reviews. Leave them alone or just ignore reviews completely. Monitor your reviews. If all reviews are coming in at one or two stars, you’re going to need to take a look at what went wrong. But if the odd bad review comes in, don’t worry about it. Don’t even look at it. Let it go and focus on what you can do with writing an even better follow-up.

Be Grateful for Them
A few negative reviews here and there can actually lend some credibility to your book page. People can get suspicious when a book has dozens of 5-star reviews, as if they’re all from your friends and family. A few negative reviews sprinkled into the mix makes them all look more authentic.

Creative Writing Exercises

Creative writing, like all language is a mode of communication. It is the highest form of self-expression, the ability to create and share a story is what makes the author an inspiration. Writers all tell stories. Every cultures is based on thousands of stories intrinsically woven together.

If you speak through your pen, which is what writing is and you put your voice onto paper no one else has to hear it until you are pleased with it. Your voice on paper is infinitely more sophisticated than anything you can possibly say because you’ve got the luxury of time.

You need time to explore your ideas, to find their voice on paper. It is important to get things wrong and not worry about it. Time for you to revel in your mistakes and learn from them. If you want to be a writer and I hope you do, then feel the response of enthusiastic laughter if you are trying to be funny. Be disgusted if you are trying to be disgusting.

You can easily break down stories into what is written and how is written. Begin with you, put loads of value on content, remain focused on the importance of content but bit by bit begin to pay equal emphasis to the structural side of things.

A great way to learn to write is to take a grade level in school and the list of words that they have to spell by the end of the year. This works particularly well if you want to write kids books. Put these words in a box. Every week pick out ten and write a story using these words.

Another fun way to write a story is to take something like chocolate and write down some of the words that describe the chocolate. Come up with a sentence the world’s never heard before.

Allow the joy of creativity to find your voice on paper. Give yourself the vital channel of self-expression that creative writing can give.