Tag Archives: Writing

Four Fantastic Writing Tips

You all know the ritual; every year, about this time, I post up stuff about how my writing journey is going. 2014 makes it four awesome years since I dared to call myself a writer…and it has paid off.This year, for the benefit of upcoming writers, I came up with four things I’ve learned in four years about writing. Here we go:

It doesn’t matter if you think your idea sucks…write
I didn’t think, I knew my ideas sucked when I first started out with this writing thing. But I realized that if you don’t pen down those pieces that make you nervous, you won’t pen down anything at all. Plus, most times those ideas you think suck…people will love them.

Don’t be afraid to take a break
No, you’re not being lazy, you’re resting your mind. During a period like this, you could come up with some of your best ideas. Warning though; just keep on reading.

Writing gives you a confidence boost. (People naturally like writers)
Don’t know why, but people seemed to like me better when I became a writer. Still trying to understand it.

You never get used to starting a new project
No matter your experience, it seems like all new write-ups feel like you’re re-learning. I think it is more of a “re-discovery”. With every new project, as you write, you learn more about yourself.

@chosenmich


4 Ways to Spice Up your Writing

I have had an acoustic guitar for some four or five years now, but I never quite tried to learn playing it passed a few must-know chords. So this year, I got an electric, and decided to put my all into becoming a pro…somewhat.

I soon discovered something, however; there comes a point when you are learning to play the guitar, for most people, that you feel you aren’t growing anymore. You know there’s still so much to learn (coz you can’t play all your favourite songs yet), but you just aren’t learning anything. You’re essentially stuck.

It’s the same with most creative endeavours. Music, drawing, and of course, writing. I’ve been there one too many times with my writing, and every time I google “how to improve your writing”, the points ‘read’, and ‘write’, keep coming up—as if you didn’t know that already. With that mind, I have come up with 4 ways to spice up your writing if you’re in that boat.

1 Get used to using Idioms

Most wet-behind-the-ears writers do not use these. I am still trying to get used to using them. Idioms, in my definition, are creative ways of expressing simple ideas. For example, “wet behind the ears”, is nothing but a fanciful way of saying, ‘inexperienced.’ So get an idioms app, and get your idioms on.

2 Use Figures of Speech

Whether writing with alliterations, metaphors, or hyperbole, figures of speech prevent your writing from tasting like an unsalted meal. See what I did there? *wink wink* The King of Horror, Stephen King, is king in this aspect. So, pick up your primary (or elementary) school English notes, and relearn those speech figures.

3 Practice Perfecting your Poetry

I’m so not claiming to be good at this, but I have noticed that writers who are good at writing poetry write a mean fiction. Read a bit of Dean Koontz, and you’ll know what I’m saying. Having poetry in your arsenal helps your narration, and your description of scenes, weather etc. I should start a bit of poetry this year, but don’t quote me on that.

4 Play on Puns

I can’t talk about adding spice to our writing, without mentioning the use of puns; puns add an intelligent kind of flavor to your tone…pun most definitely intended. A pun is simply an intelligent play on words. The point of spice is to add flavor to your cooking, which is why I chose the expression, ‘flavor to your tone.’ Puns are great for adding humor and intelligence to your writing.

I particularly like this pun I found on Pun of the Day: “I’m glad I learned sign language; it’s pretty handy.” LOL.

Hope you spice up your writing with these four points.

@chosenmich


3 Boring but Effective Ways to Improve Your Writing

Sometime last year, I wrote a blog post titled “Weird and Unorthodox Ways to Improve Your Writing”, and, based on the feedback I got from you guys, it’s almost safe to say that was the best received blog post of mine last year. In an attempt to resurrect this epileptic blog of mine (other than changing designs), I’ve come up with a similar article to the 2013 favorite, this time highlighting some boring, but effective, ways to improve your writing. So, if you can get passed the critically boring activities, dive in to the following points and improve your writing:

  1. Watch the News: Need I say more? It’s fricking journalism. The main credential for studying journalism is a good English grade. Plus they probably know the news is boring, so they always come up with cool lines to sell it. I remember I first heard the term ‘skyrocket’ on the news, and even though that is a dated and abused term now, credit goes to the news companies for teaching me that.
  2. Read Academic Books/Journals: So, this one is pretty simple. Most writers are comfortable with reading as a way to improve their writing. However, we often settle in a comfort zone-like place, reading mainly fictions. The thing about Academic writings is, the author often drowns her readers with boring facts and information—this is what makes it boring. However, Academic books are written by intellectuals. Thus, the use of English in such text is almost unparalleled—this is what makes it so effective as a tool to improve one’s writing.
  3. Read the Mother of all Books: In this book, there are no characters, there are no stories, and there are certainly no plots. I’m talking about the Dictionary. Back in school, I must admit, reading the dictionary used to be one of my weird hobbies. Back then, there were no effective mobile dictionaries, so I didn’t have an app that could give me “word of the day.” Now, however, we do. But don’t stop at just assimilating the words you read in the dictionary, practise using them. And, really, every word used on the news, or in academic writings is in the dictionary, right? I guess this makes reading the dictionary the most boring, yet the most effective, way to improve your writing.

So, is it time to get bored? Getting bored might just mean getting better. 😉

 

MiCH OLORUNFEMi

@chosenmich


It Begins…EYES

Today marks history for Mich Olorunfemi fiction with the release of Eyes across various platforms as a free ebook. With the little hype I was able to generate on my own, I’m sure a few of us are eager to get a copy, but first, a little history about the book:

Eyes (the captivating and enthralling story of a detective named Ricky Platt) is actually the first story I came up with, but was not the first I released. Three years ago when I decided to try my hands on this craft called writing, this was the only story concept in my head. I began penning it down, and hit the sixth chapter. However, not being satisfied with it (it was my first, after all), I scrapped it totally and began working on another title Feral (which will make a comeback this year), and others that can be seen in the “Free Books” section of this blog. The book, though short it might seem, took me a whole year to rewrite. Now, I’m more than delighted to share this thrilling story with you.

Where to download a copy:

You can download various formats (including KINDLE and PDF) on Smashwords:

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/401992

You can also snag a free copy off of the Apple iBookstore (not available in the Nigerian store, sadly):

(Available in 48 other countries)

If you have the Barnes and Noble nook, or nook app, you can get it at Barnes and Noble:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eyes-mich-olorunfemi/1118114506?ean=9781304763709

Sign in, or Sign up to Lulu to get it from the Lulu Bookstore:

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/eyes/14345104

The wait is over! Click, download, take the plunge, be thrilled. And be redeemed!

Ricky Platt has never lost case, now he’s about to lose his life.

EYES Covermediumsmall(blog)


Eyes Chapter 1…Coming 01.27.14

It’s been a great, long while since I posted anything into my stories category, and after almost two years of not doing so, I’m honored and privileged (in light of my new novella’s Monday 27th’s release) to share with you all, Chapter one of Eyes. Read it, and anticipate.
MiCH


Eyes…Chapter One

DETECTIVE Ricky woke up with a start, shirt sodden with sweat as he took in long, heavy breaths. Was that a nightmare? Maybe, but he had no recollection he was even dreaming. His wife Vivian always knew when he was having a nightmare, and she was always ready to tell him it was alright. But not tonight.
Ricky looked at his wife’s side of the bed, but she wasn’t there. Probably went for some water. Ricky thought. 4:15am shone in big green digital writings on the clock that sat on the nightstand. It was still dark.
Ricky put on the lamp. The room lit up with a golden-yellow hue. That was when Ricky saw it.
“Blood? Is that blood?” Ricky whispered to himself, as though he was being monitored. He flung the blanket off the bed. There was more, more blood. “Oh God.”
He flew out of the bed and fell to the floor, crawling as far away from the bed as possible on his rear, supported by his hands. He hit the wall next to the door then he tried to calm himself. I’ve seen blood on a countless number of occasions. He told himself.
But not my wife’s blood. A conflicting voice said.
Ricky opened the bedroom door, he ran for the kitchen screaming his wife’s name. “Vivian! Vivian!” He ran past his daughter’s door. Through the hall, through the dark living room, and into the kitchen. It was bare. His heart pumped blood up his neck, more from fear than from the running. Then he realized he ran past his daughter’s room.
“Nicky!” He ran back. Threw the door open. Her bed was empty, but her pillow and blanket were still in place. With the flip of a switch the room was illuminated. He angled for Nicky’s bed, and took a hold of her pink fluffy blanket. Neither the color nor the flowery designs made this any better. He froze in his steps.
“What am I doing? I have to call the office.” Don’t want to contaminate the scene before they arrive. Was this right? His wife and daughter were missing, possibly even killed and he was still thinking like a detective. But thinking like a detective would let him know what was going on.
He headed back to his room. Taking his cell off the nightstand, he dialed the Armston Police emergency phone number. Stay calm, Ricky. Stay calm. His head swam. Stay calm. The more he tried to control himself, the worse his condition became. He began to fill a slight chill wrap around his body. His fingers failed to dial the station’s number at the first try, they were shaking. He got it on his second try and pressed the cell hard on his ear, pulse racing.
An officer picked up on the first ring. “Armston Police emergency service. What’s your emergency?”
“Eh…this is Detective Ricky— ”
“Ricky, what’s the situation?”
“I…I…I think my wife and daughter have been…kidnapped.” Telling the officer on the other end of the phone that he suspected they were dead just didn’t seem right. After all, there were no bodies to prove it. But there was a whole lot of blood in his bed. Too much, for just a little struggle to cause.
“Hold on, Ricky. A unit will be dispatched to your location ASAP.”
Click!
The line went dead and Ricky’s hand went limp. The cell clattered to the floor. Ricky left the room and sat on a couch in the living room. He was too disoriented to realize that the lights were still off. He chose not to stay in the room as a means of controlling his curious nature. He needed the scene as clean as possible by the time the police got there.
His hands trembled in his weltered brown hair. His breaths were now drawn in short bursts.
Who was responsible? All the criminal cases Ricky had taken had ended with the perpetrator behind bars. All forty, and counting. Unless this was someone with ties to one of the criminals. He had put nothing less than twenty killers behind bars within the first forty-eight hours of their killings.
Vivian…Nicky. He wasn’t even sure if there was any blood in Nicky’s bed. He couldn’t be sure, not until the police arrived.
The four minutes, thirty-two seconds it took for the police to arrive—and Ricky timed it—was the longest wait Ricky had ever endured. But now he could hear sirens approaching. They were still at a distance, from the sound of it, but at least they were coming.
Oh no! Sirens. Surely the neighbors would be woken from sleep. Everybody will want to know what was going down at the friendly Platt residence. He walked over to the window and pulled back the curtain a little. The street lit up in red and blue. The sirens blared, cutting through the night. The light of a house at the end of the street came on. Then a second closer to his.
He spotted two Armston Police cruisers before he let the curtain fall.
The tires of the two cruisers squealed as they came to a halt at Ricky’s house. Three uniformed officers emerged and approached the family sized house through the driveway. Ricky didn’t wait for a knock on the door before he had it opened.
“Ricky! Hear you’ve got an emergency of some sort.” Officer Chris Baines said, adjusting his belt. The other two officers stood on either side of Baines. Another officer stood casually by one of the cruisers, he wouldn’t be coming in.
“This way.” Ricky let the three officers in.
They all angled into the hall when Baines said, “What exactly happened?” He was studying the house.
“I..eh, I woke up after I had a nightmare, I think, and Vivian was gone. She just wasn’t in bed. I thought she went for a drink of water or something, I turned on the lights,” he opened the door to his room, “that’s when I saw this.”
Baines walked in, eyes fixated on the bed. The ruffled blanket lay on the floor. He walked behind the bed all the while keeping a fixed gaze on the pool of blood now soaking the white sheets. “Hmm. What time did you wake up?”
“Four fifteen,” Ricky answered.
“And your daughter?”
“She’s missing as well. Don’t know if there’s any blood on her sheets.”
Baines stood. “Murphy, take some shots please.” It sounded like a question.
Officer Dan Murphy fiddled with the camera, before it clicked and the room went white for half a second. A few more clicks from every possible angle was enough for Baines.
“Doesn’t look like there was much of a struggle.” Baines said.
“Doesn’t look like there was any struggle.” Ricky’s voice was a little above a whisper. His heart was still pounding away.
“Let’s see your daughter’s room.” Baines headed for the door, and so did everyone else.
Nicky’s door creaked open, as Ricky walked into the room. The officers were directly behind. This was what Ricky had been waiting for. He would find out if Nicky was harmed as well.
Baines looked around the room. Everything was neatly packaged. A really large and brown teddy bear sat on a short bureau. The pink and blue striped wallpaper matched it in a unique manner. Nicky’s flip-flops lay at the foot of the bed undisturbed. Everything seemed to be in place. A little too in place.
A tear broke loose from Ricky’s eye. The bright colors, the blue teddy, the fluffy flip-flops. None of these items brought him joy—instead they did just the opposite.
Baines edged for Nicky’s bed. Ricky watched.
“Murphy, do your stuff before I proceed.”
Some five snaps shots from a good range of angles was all Baines needed. He went a bit low, placed his hand on the pink fluffy bed spread with caution, like it was rigged with a bomb or something, and dragged it off, letting it fall to the ground.
It was as Ricky suspected. Blood. And much of it. The stain on Nicky’s bed made Ricky’s body, quiver. “No…No. She was just a child…she…”
“Pull yourself together Ricky, we still don’t know if they were killed. As long as we haven’t seen any bodies yet there’s no proof of death.”
“Sir,” Officer Ed Milner was pointing to the floor.
“What is it?” Baines turned to face Milner.
For a moment the quiver in Ricky’s body totally ceased. He was in anticipation. He was ready for anything that might give him a clue to what the heck was going on.
Milner prodded. “You really have got to see this.”
Baines walked up to Milner’s side. There was a white piece of paper on the floor. Writings had been scribbled on it in red lettering. Baines pulled out a pair of surgical gloves and put them on before squatting and picking the paper from the bedroom floor. His face spaced out in horror.
“What’s the matter?” Ricky asked, but Baines didn’t give Ricky a reply. So Ricky inched bit by bit toward him, his eyes fixed on the white piece of paper, and only now did he notice the red markings. He could see it now, very clearly. He could read it.
It read simply and succinctly:
Enjoy the rest of the Journey.
Cutter
Ricky felt sweat begin to exude from all over his body. His head began to swim. Journey? What Journey? Should he be preparing for more of this? Evidently. That’s what Cutter was saying. And who is this Cutter? All these questions barraged Ricky’s mind at once like a meteor shower, but he had no answer to any one of them.
What Cutter didn’t say was whether he had custody of his wife and his daughter. Did he want to keep him guessing? Did he want him trying to maintain some kind of hope, when the very thing he was hoping for wasn’t in existence anymore? But one question cried out in a higher decibel than any of the others; what was going on?
Ricky’s journey was truly just beginning and Officer Baines was just about to prove that. Unintentionally though.
Ricky watched Baines flip the card to the other side. He probably wanted to see if there was anymore detail that could prove vital to the whereabouts of Ricky’s wife, and Ricky’s daughter, maybe even this Cutter himself. He flipped the card back with such swift hand motion.
“Hold on, what was that?” Ricky tried to confirm. He thought he saw a picture.
“Eh…it’s nothing. Milner, get this to the lab. Have it tested for finger prints.” Baines held the card out to officer Milner.
“No! I wanna see that.” Ricky was quick enough to get to the card before Milner could receive it from Officer Baines.
Baines cursed.
Ricky flipped it over to see exactly what it was that Baines didn’t want him to see. His heart skipped a few beats. His hands began to tremble again. His lips dropped open, unconsciously. They quivered in their open state before he let the picture fall to the ground.
“Ricky…” Baines was trying to be comforting, but surely he knew there was no amount of words that would do any comforting now.
Ricky stared at the picture which was now on the floor. It was a picture of Vivian and Nicky. Dead. Lying down on what looked like a concrete surface on their left side. Both had their throats slashed. The word ‘Cutter’ was brutally etched on their right cheek. They might have been dead but they looked anything but at peace.
Ricky went week at the knees. His right leg began to fail him and he began to drop to the floor.
“Whoa!” Milner was on hand to catch him. He led him to a small chest Nicky used to store her toys and made him sit.
Ricky stared on, to a great beyond. To nothingness. He seemed not to see the others in the room anymore. The trembles in his hands had spread to his entire body now. He couldn’t even try to contain it. It was useless.
Baines walked up to Ricky and gave his cheek a couple of gentle taps. Then placed his hands on his shoulder and rocked him gently. “Ricky! Ricky! We need you to be strong, okay? For them. For Vivian and Nicky. Can you do that?” Ricky raised his head and their eyes met. “Can you do that?” He repeated.
Ricky managed to nod his head. Slowly. But at least that showed him he still had control of himself.
“Gimme a minute.” Baines said before walking away from Ricky to join his partners.
Ricky watched him join the other officers at a corner of Nicky’s room. Nicky’s room. Ricky would have never thought his six year old daughter’s room would one day be a crime scene. He shuddered. This was too much. Much too much.
After a series of nods, belt adjustments, and off-shoulder glances at Ricky, Baines approached him again. Ricky knew what he was going to request. He was a detective, he had done this on scores of occasions.
“I know this is hard for you,” Baines started. Ricky already knew where he was going. He continued, “but this is one case Chief Delay would want to look into.”
They wanted him to be at the station. Chief Delay would definitely interview at the station.
“If you think you can handle —”
“I’ll be there.” A succinct response from a despondent Ricky. His wife and daughter—whom he loved more than life itself—had just been brutally murdered. He would do anything to make sure this Cutter guy was caught before he thought he had the advantage over him.
A killer with so much skill, who was able to sneak into the house of a detective, kill his daughter, and kill his wife whilst she lay next to him as he slept wasn’t one to present a weak character to. He had to look strong. He had to be strong. For their sake.


Weird and Unorthodox Ways to Improve Your Writing

Since I already wished you all Happy New year before taking a break, we’re jumping right in this year. I do hope the holidays were kind to you though.

There is a constant question that begs an answer on the minds of upcoming writers, of which I still see myself as, and that is, “How can I improve my writing?”

What I have noticed is that there are some pretty unorthodox ways to achieve this. Believe me, the activities outlined below are nearly full-proof, but they are so unorthodox you just might drop your jaw at them. Here they are:

  1. Chatting: Make no mistake about it, run at the chance to chat over the chance to speak over the phone if you really want to improve your writing. Chatting gives you the chance to creatively put your words together, and because you are writing (not speaking), improves your writing.
  2. Watch Cartoons: This one is difficult for adults to even so much as consider. In truth, Cartoons have some of the most creatively constructed dialogs, and wackiest conflicts on the planet. Thus, watching them could really broaden your mind.
  3. Mentally write what you see: Go out. Sit at a bench on the sidewalk, and mentally write in prosaic format, whatever happens before your eyes. This exercises your mind to getting used to the writing process.
  4. Listen to music: Music is also an art that seeks to send a message to listeners. The thing about music is; musicians try to tell a story in all of approximately four minutes. This makes them push the creativity of their words (lyrics), making for some pretty unique lines that could be really inspiring.
  5. Watch commercials: It’s really the same as music, but because a commercial is limited to a time frame of thirty seconds, adverts are even more creative than most music videos. A commercial seeks to tell you, “you can’t  do without this product or service you have been living without”, and make you believe it. Thus watching commercials can be highly inspiring.

Try these steps out, and let’s see that improvement.

@chosenmich


I’m…Aliiiiive!

Yes, I’m still alive. Not dead as some might have presumed. Though I was dead to the world, locked up in my Vault all through November, clicking at my keyboard with a hunched back, trying to conquer my first ever NaNoWriMo.

The sad news: I failed, peaking at about 26,000 words only, not hitting the targeted 50,000.

The awesome news: I did learn a few things. And here they are:

  1. A truly passionate person can’t look sane to the passive: I know this because of those second glances I got throughout the November when people asked me what I was up to, and I went, “Trying to finish a novel in one month.”
  2. Art might not be seen as a discipline, but it requires major discipline: A person without discipline cannot commit to writing at least 1,600 words daily consistently for thirty days straight (Hey, call my indisciplined, but I’ll try again next year).
  3. The best motivation (not inspiration) comes from with-out, not within: When several people want to know whether your goal is being achieved or not, it puts you on your toes to deliver.
  4. We are often our own impossibility: Impossibility, though, comes from within. Most times, our not achieving set goals (especially in writing) is not to be blamed on external forces, but very present, snickering inside ones. The sooner we come to terms with this truth, the more we’ll see our dreams made reality.

So, December is still a writing month for me. I am excited to share with you my plans come 2014. It’s gonna be a great year for Mich fiction with some pretty big announcements.

…27 Days to go.


After Thr3e Years

Notice my spelling of the word “three” in my title? That’s my tribute to the author (and the book) that got me writing. Three years in the writing career, and I’m only just getting started. Every year, I post new things I’ve learned about the craft that is writing, and this year, being my third year in the craft, I’ve decided to share with my readers, fans, and followers, three things I’ve learned about writing in this short while.

1. Everyone believes they understand the craft.

By everyone, I mean everyone. If you are an upcoming writer, you’ve probably already had your works criticized by non-writers, and even non-readers alike. They try to analyze why you should do this, and why you shouldn’t do that. While most of them actually mean good, taking medical advice from an IT specialist probably isn’t the wisest thing to do. It spurs from a need to tell a story, because in the end non-writers and non-readers are telling a story one way or the other…just let me tell mine my way.

2. The blank page really is terrifying.

No, really, it is. When I first picked up the trade, it seemed that the one thing that was common with the opinions of all writers was, “The blank page is terrifying.” Flip forward three years later, and I still dread starting a book or a story. It’s really exciting, having a fresh tale to tell, but it’s dreadfully frightening when you open your text editor and watch that black cursor blink and mock you amid all that impossible white space. “How do I fill it?” You ask yourself. One word at a time. Something tells you…yet it’s never that easy. Never.

3. You don’t pick your genre, your genre picks you.

You don’t just wake up one morning and decide you want to write Steampunk Romance…ok, for a genre that weird, you probably get to choose. But I’ve discovered that the kinds of tales you tell are deep within you already. I think this affects readers too. You just find yourself drawn to a certain genre. Perhaps this is why it’s always hard to provide a definite answer when asked, “why do you write/read this kinda stuff?” Your genre calls you to the craft. Make no mistake about it.

@chosenmich


A New Genre

I would have loved to begin this piece by saying that what defines a writer (personality, style, outlook on life, perspective, thought patterns, etc) is the genre chosen by the writer to major on. And at first glance it seems rightly so. A writer that writes thrillers tends to see the uncanny message hidden in even the simplest things. A writer that writes romance tends to see the drama, or the sweetness, in the littlest things.

But the truth is; the same goes for the readers. Writers box themselves by writing a particular genre, thereby boxing the readers also. Readers won’t exalt any other genre above their favorite, and over time, this begins to shape the way they live, much like the writers whose work they consume. Very shortly, we begin to consider life in genres. Some people live for Adventure. Some live for Love (Romance). Some live for Mystery. Some live for Suspense, not knowing what comes next, taking life, and discovering it one step at a time. Some can’t have life without a little Drama. Some can’t have it without Comedy.

I unveil to us all, today, a new genre. And I call it Life. What writers have been able to do is break life into their favorite categories, but truth be told, Life is all genres. Ever ask yourself what summer and winter have in common. I have the answer; they are both seasons. While we feel comfortable as girls sitting in front of the glowing TV screen watching a chick flick, we cannot deny the fact that at one point or the other in our lives we have faced fear. While we as macho men are all about the whistling bullets peeling through the air, and the bar fights, we cannot deny the butterfly swirling in our tummies over that pretty, little damsel we have been trying to build the courage to talk to.

A genre is nothing but a section of life. When we pick a genre as our favorite, we shut our hearts and minds to the others. But in truth, Life is one big genre. In it we have ups and down, just like a rollercoaster. In it we find tragedies. In it we find joy. In it we find terror. In it we find comedy. In it we find war.

In it we find peace.


After 2 Years

The ending months of the year 2012 makes it two years since I became a writer. Though it’s only been a couple of years, it’s been one heck of a ride consisting of rise and falls, successes and failures, elations and let downs. In these two years, however, I’ve learned a whole lot of things about the writing process, which I outline below. There are many other things about writing, no doubt, but here are a few vitals:

No one can write your Idea as well as you

It’s how I started writing, really. That concept or idea, I always feel, dropped in your mind for a reason. I have also found out that no matter what tiny bit of an idea you get, it comes with some sort of vague idea as to who some of the characters might be. You are already bonding with the characters even before the first word is penned (whether you’re a pantser or an outliner). It’s like a soon-to-be mother in labor. The second the baby emerges, the connection between the mother and child is the strongest. Sorry, dads! It’s the plain truth. She did carry the kid for nine months, after all.

Inspiration and Passion isn’t nearly enough, discipline is required

In today’s world, everyone is teaching that you should follow your passion. Good and fine, but I found out that especially in writing, inspiration and passion aren’t nearly adequate driving forces for seeing you through to the final period. Discipline is required. If you cannot sit down at your work for protracted hours and write, your story can be likened to chasing a rainbow; you see it after the rain, but really there is no “end of the rainbow”, and there’s certainly no pot of gold there. Discipline is the transportation to the end of your manuscript.

Discipline isn’t enough, you need patience

Discipline might certainly be the transportation to the end of your manuscript, but it is a rickety way of getting there. Oil up discipline’s joints with patience. Patience is what ensures a smooth sailing all through the writing process. Writing is a brutally remorseless process, and if you’re doing it the right way, it’s a lonely one, too. Where discipline might falter, patience stands firm. You just gostta keep pressing till you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Set goals, but start small

No one is disputing the fact that setting goals is almost the only way to achieve things, but many times we tend to get overtaken by our goals of becoming a New York Times #1 Bestseller, that we forget the number one thing writing is; a process. Have those goals—I have them, too—but instead of making your first work am epic 600 page tale, why not try your hands on writing short stories first, getting the hang of the art that is writing. I learned this the hard way.

Characters aren’t just that, they are people

Your characters aren’t just characters that help take your readers to the end of a story; they are living, breathing people with a past, a present, and a future. Like you, they have ambitions and goals, which may or may not be becoming a New York Times #1 Bestseller. If all your characters take decisions the way you would, they are nothing but clones…of you. It’s back to the drawing board, then. Sorry.

Writing should be fun, inasmuch as it is work

I did say that writing is “a brutally remorseless process” earlier. Though a hundred and ten percent true, it should be fun. If you don’t have fun writing, perhaps you should think of another career path. There is nothing worse than working in misery, trust me, I know. Above all else, you need to love writing. You need to breathe, eat, and sleep writing. Nothing, for me, comes remotely close to writing. I love it.