In every author’s life there comes a moment when they must slaughter one of their creations.
Yep, you’ve got to kill one of your characters.
I know, I know, you love them, you’ve created them, and yet for the sake of the story and for the sake of the reader, they need to bite a bullet, drink that poison, or succumb to cancer.
Every time a reader finishes a chapter, they have the chance to put down your book.
Don’t let them.
You want them to stay up to 3 a.m. even though they have work the next day, because that’s the type of reading experience they’ll gush to others about. You have to read this book.
by Garrett Calcaterra
1. I Don’t Write Every Day
The writing advice you most often hear is something to the effect of, “If you want to be a successful author, you need to write every day.”
I mean, I work as a freelance writer and editor, so yeah, I write something every day, but not my own creative work. Sometimes I’ll go as long as a couple of weeks, maybe even a month, without writing anything that’s my own.
2. When I Do Write, I Binge
The longest writing session I’ve ever had was 27 hours, but that was back when I was a good deal younger.
It stares you down in the form of an empty word doc and a blinking cursor. Its existence is hotly debated. It is any storyteller’s biggest fear: the dreaded Writer’s Block.
However, have no fear! I’ve racked my brain for fail-safe strategies to conquer Writer’s Block, tactics that have put me back on track and saved my writing journey from becoming a dead-end. Take a look below.
1. Take A Walk
Not only does this get your legs moving and your lungs breathing in crisp air, but also taking walks can provide inspiration—you just need to know where to look. From mysterious initials carved into a tree trunk to a trail of candy wrappers on the sidewalk, you never know what you will find on the simplest walk.
You’ve been dreaming about this moment since the beginning. It’s what you’ve been working towards this whole time, and now you’re finally ready to wrap it all up and create that perfect ending to your story. So how are you going to do it?
Consider this your brainstorming session. Learn from these examples how to end a story, and try to imagine how you would write each of them. Some of them might not work for your story, but at least one will. Try out a couple styles and see what you like!
Everybody has writing tips for authors, especially people who aren’t writers. “Write about vampires,” your cousin says. “Write something like Harry Potter,” your niece says.
These writing tips are generally unhelpful, to say the least.
Which is why all this writing advice from 50 famous authors is simply stupendous. You get access into the brains of 50 very famous authors, to get the best tips for writing, and it’s not abstract hypotheticals but based on what they practice.
(If you don’t need writing advice but only some inspiration, check out my recent article on how famous writers get inspired).
How many times have you heard “when it rains, it pours” or “everything happens for a reason”? These clichés are like a broken record (cliché intended).
Clichés are phrases or sayings that have been overused and said too much and completely lack originality. As originality is key in any sort of writing, especially creative writing, clichés are the enemy for writers and should be avoided.
When you’re weighing the option of using a cliche in your writing, ask yourself this question: can you say something better than something that has been said for hundreds of years?
It’s a high bar, I know. But that’s where the power of being a true writer comes out. No person can tell your story better than you, the one that came up with it. Use your words to tell your story, not a phrase that is thrown into every classic.
I spent a few years as an actress in Los Angeles, waiting for someone to give me a job, before deciding to explore my writing skills, with the goal of writing my next big movie and starring in it.
So I set out to become a Writer. What I learned is that writers and actors have a lot in common. We are both working to develop characters. We both create entire people and entire lives from scratch. From the way those characters look, to the way they think, the way they walk, stare, talk, laugh, and cry; we develop the pain that fuels these characters to make choices.