*Good day everyone! Normally, today, we’d be featuring a poet or artist, but I’ve taken a break for a couple of weeks. Instead, today, we have a guest blog from blogger, author, and poet Charles Yallowitz, administrator of Legends of Windemere. This gentleman has some pretty good things coming up! I hope you all enjoy this article, especially if you are new to writing or would like to sharpen your skills. Herein you will find some pretty great advice from a proven author and blogger, so take notes, my friends! Charles, you have the floor!
How to Improve Your Writing Skills by Charles Yallowitz
Thank you to Sahm King for inviting me to write this guest blog to help hype my second self-published book Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, which will be released on July 31st. This is the sequel to my first epic fantasy book Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero.
I’ve been writing since I was in high school, which means I’ve been working on my books for 19 years. Give me a minute while I mourn my lost youth . . . there we go. Nobody starts out as a talented writer. Even the greats had to learn the basics, practice, and take their critical lumps at the beginning. Here is a list of what you can do to improve your skills and bring the critical criticism to a tolerable level:
- Never Let Them See You Cry- Your first bout with criticism may hurt . . . a lot. You put your heart, soul, and social life into your book. Tears begin to well up in your eyes and a sadness creeps into your chest. The key is to not let the critics and your fans know that you’ve been riled up. Let it out in private. 9 out of 10 first-time authors fail at this.
- Take a Writing Class- Maybe you merely need to brush up on your basic skills and a few of the advanced parts of writing. Check out the local college to see if you can take a writing class. Remember that part of being a writer, anything if you think about it, is being an eternal student.
- Find a Writing Workshop- Libraries, colleges, and writing groups have workshops. It may take some time to find these programs, but it allows you to interact with people at the same level that you’re at. That level is ‘aspiring author’ and everyone will feel your pain. This is a great place to get feedback and swap stories with other authors. There’s always the chance that you’ll be the most experienced author in the group, which means everyone will look up to you. This equals a big ego and confidence boost.
- Blog Your Book- Write a blog by flexing your literary muscles and showing excerpts of your book. Be brave and indulge in whatever catches your interest. Lists, short stories, poems, opinion pieces, and everything else you decide to write will be practice and get you followers. Practice is key and practicing out in the open is a great way to get effective feedback.
- The Comfort of Strangers- The concept of beta-readers is fairly new to me, but they are highly effective. Family and friends will either sugarcoat their critiques or rip out your jugular for your own good. You will get a more balanced and honest critique from people that are one step above total strangers or fellow authors. You will have to seek these people out and step out of your shell to ask them for a favor, but it is well worth the effort. It’s best to return the favor, so make some reading time. Warning: you’ll find that most of the authors you meet write romance, so prepare for hot and steamy scenes.
- Read!- Find books in your genre and read them. Find books outside of your genre and read them. The whole point of this is to read and get a feel for different grammar techniques. If you don’t learn anything then at least you had fun.
- Screw You, Critics, I Know What I’m Doing- There’s always the chance that you’re writing in a difficult style and the vocal critics are only the ones that don’t like it. I write in present tense, third-person POV, which gets me a lot of heat. I’m talking ‘this guy has no clue what he’s doing’ types of criticism. You know what? Forget them. I know my style isn’t perfect, but I’ve developed it by using the previously mentioned tools. So, before you go off to change your style, have a look at your writing to see if it’s simply a problem with you being untraditional.
Note: Bad spelling, horrible grammar, and plagiarism are not style definitions. It doesn’t matter if you bullshitted a college professor into believing you were unique when you handed in an excerpt of Ender’s Game with all the names changed. That’s theft, not a style.
- Prodigy of Rainbow Tower Finished Cover (legendsofwindemere.com)
- Review: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower by Charles Yallowitz (cnfaust.wordpress.com)
- Prodigy of Rainbow Tower (Legends of Windemere, #2) (goodreads.com)
- Prodigy of Rainbow Tower Sneak Peek: Genocide (neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com)
- L.o.W.-Prodigy of Rainbow Tower Part 25 (legendsofwindemere.com)
- Improve Your Writing Skills with Mind Mapping (mindomo.com)
- If you want to improve your Writing Skills, then Start Reading More.. (internetmonetization.com)
- How to Improve Your Writing Skill (bloggingfoundation.com)
- How to Organize Your Poetry Collection (becausewerepoets.wordpress.com)
- First Round’s on Us! We Drink Because We’re Poets’ First Anthology! (becausewerepoets.wordpress.com)