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Ten Things I Wish I had Known About Writing a Book...Part Two!

Welcome back! Thanks for coming back! So today, here are the rest of my writing tips – just things that I feel that I’ve learned about the writing process and would like to share with you all! If you don’t like writing – at all – well, here’s a look into how I approach writing.

6. Sometimes writing for fun is okay too. My entire family will attest to me having multiple different stories going at the same time. Because sometimes, if you’re too focused on whatever project you have, you get stuck. Don’t get me wrong – there are times for focus. I had to focus when I wanted to get Undaunted out on time. Writing other stories when I needed Undaunted handed into my self-publisher in a week didn’t make sense. But if you’re feeling super stuck – start a new story. A brand-new story. A whatever story. Write a fanfiction (I’ve written at least…three). Sometimes, you just need to write something completely unrelated to destress yourself.

7. Reality is important. Now if you are a fantasy writer…reality is less important. Have fun. Go wild. But if you’re trying to write realistic fiction, then come on. You need reality. And if you don’t think something is believable…your audience probably won’t either. If you’re not sure if something is believable, have somebody else read it. You have no idea how many times my brother read parts of Undaunted and informed me that somebody just casually eating about eight McDonald’s’ hamburgers in one sitting isn’t as believable as around three (for some reason, portions are off for me. An old fanfiction I wrote had a character who casually drank about thirty cups of coffee a day. Yikes).

8. You may not write the books you necessarily like reading. I know, this kind of contradicts what I said in point one, but it doesn’t. For example, I love reading Amish romance stories. I like stories with happy endings. Settled endings. With everybody happy…and alive. If you’ve read Undaunted yet, you know that most of these things don’t happen by the end. It is definitely not an Amish romance, the ending is somewhat happy…and it’s not settled. But this was the book that I enjoyed writing! This was the book burning on my heart to write – I wanted to write about these characters, I wanted to write about Cody and figure out what happened – and I liked that. But is it anything like the genre I usually read? Oh no. Not at all. But this was the book I felt led to write – so I did. (For a couple of months, I didn’t even try to reread Undaunted after it was released. Recently though, I’ve wanted to re-read it! Funny how that works.)

9. Don’t add too many characters. Characters make things interesting. It’s what makes a book a book, and good characters take development, right? Right. So, if you have too many characters that you’re just kind of adding in for spare bodies, then take them out. Random characters with no depth are bleh, and it makes your job harder. Unless you want to use all those characters in a meaningful way, don’t add them in. There are side characters, as there always are (Benny, for example. He doesn’t do much – but he does do something), but random people who just walk in and walk out, you don’t need them. Make your job easier and less confusing and don’t add them. If you aren’t sure if you have too many characters, ask yourself if you’ve ever forgotten to add someone in a crucial scene. Were they needed? Maybe not.

10. Embrace change. Change is fun – don’t let anybody tell you your writing can’t change! I’m reminded of how I first had the characters Buck, Jazz, OJ, and Benny. Would you believe me if I said that I used to have Buck as a harsher sort of gang leader? Who had nearly no emotional attachment to Cody at all? Well, originally…that’s exactly who he was. And he barely did a thing. He wasn’t as loveable as I now think he is. But characters change. Storylines change. People change. So, don’t be worried about that. Embrace the change.

And those, my beloved friend, are my ten writing tips. For me, it all boils down to this one thing: do you enjoy it? Do you enjoy writing? Beloved, you are called to do something great – and it won’t be something that you don’t like to do. Are there times when we all feel uncomfortable in being stretched? Yes. I felt very stretched just trying to begin the process of having a social media account for writing…because social media isn’t typically my thing. But I know that I was called to write, and when you’re called to do something, God gives you the grace to do it. So, if you’re stuck trying to force yourself to do something because everybody else is telling you to do it, pause. What is your dream? What is the thing that you wanted to do before somebody – family, enemies, or maybe even your own doubts – told you couldn’t? Beloved, your calling – and you – are too precious to stay held in fear. Trust me, I know! And I will expound more tomorrow. Remember, you are precious and deeply, deeply loved by a Heavenly Father Who won’t let you go.


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