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Ten Things I Wish I had Known About Writing a Book

Well hello there. Long time no see! If you are a writer, then hey! Writing buddies! Good to see you! Metaphorically speaking, of course. If you aren't a writer, still hey! Thanks for coming! Today, I wanted to share some writing tips with you that hopefully, make writing your book a little more effortless.

1) Write the book you want to read. If you don’t want to read your own book….most likely, other people won’t. And I’ll be honest, there was a time where I didn’t want to read my own book! (Granted, after writing it for so long, you kind of need a breather.) But ultimately, if you wouldn’t read your book – at all – probably not the book you want to write!

2) Have fun writing. Writing is fun. It really is. Like lots of fun! (And yes, I’m an English major…ignore those not so awesome sentences). But if you are not enjoying your own writing…then change it. There are some points – again – where writing feels ugh and tedious… then you probably need a break. I believe that the best writing flows. You have no idea how many of my favorite parts of whatever I’m writing come whenever I’m just chilling and enjoying the process of writing.

3) Rewriting is good. Really good. Do you want to know how many drafts I’ve had of Undaunted? Let’s go back to eight years ago, where the first draft included such characters as John, Alexis, and Tyler (not the one in the book. A different one). Who are these people, you ask? Characters who aren’t in the final product. Because rewriting changes everything. Often, if I would get stuck with what I was writing, I would feel the need to rewrite. So often, rewriting a story comes out better! (And the total number of drafts of Undaunted is probably around four. Maybe five).

4) Keep notes. Ugh, notes? Like in school? Not exactly. But keep notes of your writing. If you have this cool scene you think you might use…then write it and set it aside. I had a whole file labeled Undaunted Notes – scenes I didn’t know where to place or if they were needed. Keep your notes! You never know when you might need a scene!

5) Dialogue is real important (again, ignore the English). But dialogue – good dialogue – is important. And do you know the best way to write good dialogue? Keep writing dialogue. Just keep writing. Want to hear some dialogue I used to write?

“You locked the door!”

“I told you Mark, the door locks all by itself! I can’t control the door!”

“Well, can you at least fix it?” John let out a really fake yawn.

“You know, I’m just so tired, you’re gonna have to wait until morning, can you wait?”

“NO!”

“You have someplace to go?”

“Yeah, I need to get AWAY from here! ALONE!”

Yikes. Not the greatest conversation in many ways. And don’t worry – this was a completely scraped story that never came to fruition (there’s that English degree coming in). But this was when I was…well…young. I improved as I just kept writing!

And I will give you the rest of the tips tomorrow – because this was a lot of reading and I’m super impressed you read the whole thing. If you didn’t, no worries! No matter what, you are always deeply loved.

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