Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tips to Help Become a Better Writer, Part 2

Last week I talked about the need to read a lot, keep pen and paper handy, not waiting for motivation to strike you, and being observant.

Today, I've got three more tips.

Tip #5:  Get Organized
This actually can cover a wide range of areas when it comes to writing. One of the first things I think any writer should do is to organize the space you plan to use as your writing area. It helps having your writing material where you can easily find the things you need. (Keeping it organized is a blog for another day.)

I've got a desk in the bedroom where I do most of my writing, but when DH is ready to use the bedroom, I have to move. I'm not fond of our upstairs bedrooms, but I'm working on turning the "storage" bedroom into my office. The main thing I have to do is go through all the boxes that have accumulated up there and start getting rid of stuff. The trash and recycle guys are going to really love me in the next few weeks.

Another thing writers should do is somehow organize your writing. Everyone is different, so there are hundreds of ways to do this.

One of the things I've started doing to help me with the series I'm writing, is I've created a series notebook. I took a binder and added a pack of dividers. The first divider is labeled series information. In this section I've put my research and notes about the series itself. This section continues to grow as I add family trees, city maps, pictures of buildings, etc. The next divider is labeled Lisa's Bear, the title of my first book. I've got character charts, plot summaries, etc. in this section. The next divider has the name of the second book in the series, and it continues in that manner. It's not perfect, and it will continue to evolve, but for now it is a good place to start.

Tip #6: Use Outlines
I can hear the groans already. I realize not everyone likes or uses outlines, but to many of us, they are a lifesaver. If you do a computer search for outline templates/forms, you will come up with a variety of styles. Play with them until you find one or a combination that works for you. Outlines help me to stay on track.

Tip #7: Write More
The only way to become a better writer is to write, write, write. The more you write the faster you get, and the better you get at it as you learn from your mistakes and learn new techniques.