Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
It’s not a waste of time to finish a first novel, to practice your writing skills with that first novel manuscript, even if it will never be published. But know that the first novel will not be a masterpiece.
While a single skill might have prompted you to begin a novel, begin writing for fun or as a career, that single skill is insufficient for preparing you to write novels. Encouragement for writers to branch out and learn new skills.
Even your most avid fans may hunger for a different protagonist, a different story world, or even a different genre. Consider options for when readers become saturated by elements of your stories.
Conflict moves a story forward, keeping both characters and readers involved. Consider the ultimate conflict—betrayal by a friend—as a way to amp up the conflict in your fiction.
Tips for using beta readers to help strengthen your manuscripts before publication or submission to agents and editors.
Cut story elements that no longer match the story that’s emerged when you write and rewrite. Sometimes finessing an element isn’t the answer. Sometimes you’ve got to ruthlessly cut out what doesn’t fit.
Taking tips from the series finale of Mad Men.
Proofreading can be tough, but your stories deserve the attention to detail that a good proofreading can provide. Learn some tips for proofing your own work.
A book’s opening words need to entice readers right away, especially readers who search for books online and who give a book only a few moments to capture their interest.