Today’s guest post for AuthorpreneurSpeak is by the very dynamic Ruchi Singh author of four best selling novels. She shares some of the wisdom that helped her scale the best selling lists.
“If you wish to be a writer, write.”
Nothing can sum up the writing process as clinically as the statement above. But is it that simple?
At the outset writing sentence after sentence seems quite easy but writing a unique story, after story is a different ball game altogether. Typically what I have seen during five years in this field; people, who have been reading or are in love with words, think it’s a breeze, but believe me it gets tough as you struggle day after day for new ideas, inspirations, and motivation.
Am I trying to discourage anyone? The answer is ‘no’, instead I want everyone to get into the field with open eyes and mind. There will be moments of euphoria and dejection, frenzy and desperation, happiness and misery. It’s a virtual see-saw of every emotion in the spectrum.
So here I am with my two cents which I have gathered during my writing journey of nearly five years, observing my own writing patterns and fellow writers.
Set an aim
Setting a long-term goal or aim is of utmost importance. To set an aim one has to navigate through the maze of genres, mode of publishing, editors, designers, marketing etc. Setting of aim also includes knowing your target audience; age, gender, background etc
Learn your art
Whatever you decide to do, you should learn the nuts and bolts of the writing machinery, and how to fasten them together. For this one will need the necessary knowledge, skills and tools and support group around you to help you accomplish your goals. Let’s look at them individually;
- Process: Write the first draft, improve and improve. Let it sit for a period of time then re-write. After that it is editing, editing, and editing.
- Language: You should be proficient in the language you have decided to write. The grammar rules should be mastered. Some may say that correcting the language is a job of an editor. No, the editor’s job is not to rewrite your book, but to make the writing consistent, crisp and appealing, and at the end to point out the inadvertent mistakes which might have crept into the narrative.
- Skills: Creative writing skills need to be honed. One should know different kind of voice, POVs, show and tell, dialogue and monologue, exposition, characterization etc. It’s a complete degree course in the universities, so don’t underestimate the subject.
- Tools: These days there are various tools to aid a writer. Use them to optimize your time and effort. I am a big fan of Scrivener for plotting and organizing scenes etc. Then there is Aeon, which I have not explored much. Grammarly, Autocrit are good to catch language goof-ups.
I, as a thumb rule, discard the first two ideas which come to my mind for any story, scene, character traits or plot, just to avoid commonplace ideas. One has to be creative with plot-line, characterization, and description to make the story a unique offering to the readers. Remember you have to bring them back for the next book.
This is the key to achieve anything in life. The first story is a wonder, the second one is a delight but the third and fourth and the one after that need sheer determination and zeal. At times you might not need the motivation to drive yourself, but most of the times you have to have a strong resolve to complete the work.
Whether you are publishing through a publisher or self-publishing you have to promote your book. There is no escaping from marketing your book.
With the onset of online media, it is imperative to know both online as well as offline marketing. Social Media presence is very important in the age of the Internet; have a website/ blog, and Facebook page to showcase your work. Use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to interact with your readers and build your brand.
Having said everything, it is imperative to state that; do enjoy your writing process. The thrill of getting a heart-felt review from a satisfied reader will diminish the pain of spilling the sweat and blood.
All the very best!
About the Author
Author of the bestselling romantic thriller ‘The Bodyguard’, Ruchi Singh is an IT professional turned novelist. Her other published novels are ‘Take 2’ and ‘Jugnu (Firefly)’. Winner of TOI Write India Season 1, Ruchi has also published a short story collection, ‘Hearts and Hots’, besides being a contributing author to many anthologies.