Write, A LOT
By Dana Littlejohn
I am Dana Littlejohn author of sensual I/R and African American romance. For those who don’t know me, I have been a published since 2003. I have been asked many times over the last ten years to blog and chat with new and unpublished authors. Last month mentioned the four tips I usually give.
1) Learn your craft.
2) Commit to your dream.
3) Write, A LOT
4) Promote yourself.
I gave you a few suggestions on how to promote yourself more in 2014. I hope you are able to build on them and perhaps they will spark ideas of your own. If you didn’t read last month’s blog feel free to go back and check it out.
This month I would like to discuss #3: Write, A LOT
I have learned that diligence and accuracy is necessary to be an author. How many of us have read books and wondered how they even got published in the first place? The storyline was unrealistic, the characters bland and unlikeable on some strange planet where there are no rules that meet any standard of reasoning. When I made up my mind that I wanted to be an author, I did not want that to happen to me. When readers put down a completed Dana Littlejohn book I want them to slump into their chairs with a smile on their faces saying ahhh, even if it’s not out loud.
In order for that to even be possible we as authors have to do what we can to connect the reader to our books. Before I write on a subject I do my homework on. I read books on it, research the web and if possible I even interview people who are expects in the subject. Knowing what you’re talking about is important. Adding facts helps to connect readers to your characters and story. For example, if I was to do a BDSM book I would do all of the above before I put fingers to keys so that those who are interested in that kind of book— for whatever their reason ;) – can make their connection to the characters or the story. The goal is to bring them into your world and make them want to come back. Thus, you have to make it their world, a place where they feel comfortable enough to want to return. The alternative can be very harsh, I dare say.
Readers can be very judgmental if you get caught talking about something you have no clue about. Think of this. You pick up a novel and read something as innocent as: Becky ran down the deserted Venice street at fast as she could. As she turned the corner the headlights of an oncoming car blinded her for a moment stopping her in her tracks. What’s wrong with that you say? Well, there are no streets in Venice. Nor are there cars. Venice is a city on the water. They have waterways and use gondolas to navigate them. That is something the author should have done homework on before mentioning it in the book. You should know something about the place, if it’s real and time period you’re going to write about. With all the chat rooms, blogs, vlogs and social networks word of mouth can make or break you as an author if you’re tagged as an inaccurate or bad author.
But on that note, don’t let a bad review stop you from writing. Try to remember that a review is just that person’s opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion even if you disagree with it. If you have completed your book and sent it off to the publisher in hopes to have it accepted, don’t stop there. Keep writing. You don’t have to wait for a yes or no before starting your next story. Don’t think you have another book in you? Work on your character building and description skills. To build a picture in someone’s mind takes practice. People watch. Learn mannerisms to incorporate into your characters to make them more real. Look at pictures and describe them best as you can then give it to someone to read. If they can see the picture you were describing that's great, if not it's not the end of the world. Just keep writing. The more you write the better you get at it.
I hope this helps in your growth as an author. Thanks for reading and I hope you will return often in 2014. If you have questions leave them in the comments below.
Happy New Year and may you have many sales in your future!