Do I Have What It Takes To Become A Successful Novelist?
by Ann Clay
Writing has become a booming business with a significant number of aspiring writers attempting to make their mark in this industry. Thinking you too want to become a writer? If so, you must seriously ask yourself the question. Do I have what it takes to become a successful novelist?
I think I read some twenty different books on writing before I determined that there was no set formula or no one book to help me fulfill my writing aspirations. Finding the right formula requires aspiring writer to examine as many writing sources as possible to determine what fits their writing needs. There are a number of books written that are excellent guidelines for the novice writer, but for the most part, writing aspirations will rely on several important factors. Letís talk about things to improve your chances.
Writing has to come from the heart, pure and simple. Know what motivates you to write. Is there a story to tell? How important is it to you? Will some one else gain from what you have to say? The more you know about your motivation, the easier it is to remain true to the art.
Write even when you donít feel like you have something to say. The more you write, the stronger you grow in the field. Time management is crucial. Learn early in your writing career to manage your time wisely. It will come in handy when youíll need to meet a stringent deadline.
Believe in what youíre doing, what you have to say, and how you want to say it. Know what risk you can take in your writing endeavors. Take advice from people you admire, who may have your best interest at heart, but remember it is advice and you have the last say. Again, write from the heart and stick with what youíre comfortable with.
Join support groups--- writing groups, on-line critique groups, and book clubs can benefit and provide support and networking tools you need to establish your writing successes. Experiences in these groups should be positive with constructive feedback. Donít stay in groups that are negative or donít provide positive reinforcement that will lend to your growth. Protect your work and your integrity. Establish a rapport with a small group of people you can trust with your work. Establish some ground rules and be respectful.
Start small. Not everyone can start off writing a full-blown novel. Instead, write essays, short stories, or inspirational antidotes, and then gradually build on them. Try to map out your story. This doesnít work for everyone, in every case, but could certainly help you move a story along. Use a journal to capture ideas, character references, and scenes; and carry it with you at all times. You never know when an idea will present itself.
Take a writing course from your local university, junior college, or on-line resources. Fine-tuning your skills will help prevent mental blocks and grammar abuse. Using a good editor works well too. Find your best writing, thinking, and feeling time. If youíre a morning person, make time to write for a few hours in the morning. Youíll have a generous proportion of creativity when your brain is fully functional.
Donít forget the reader. Keep in mind your targeted audience. Better yet, place yourself in your readersí place. Is the story believable? Is there a plot? Is the story well told, predictable, or too difficult to follow? Many readers like to be pulled into a story. Use your skills to grab the readersí attention immediately. Give them pieces of the story at a time without boring them to death with useless details.
And last but not least --- read, read, read! Read a multitude of subjects, but specifically, read the genre youíre interested in writing. Use other writings to determine and establish your own style of writing. Please understand, I didnít say steal someone elseís work. Do, know your voice is your own, and use it to win your readerís attention.
Never lose sight of your dreams. Some aspiring writers dream the dream for years before they are realized. Do you have what it takes to become a successful novelist? Happy writing!