What is the best advice I’d give an author?
How many times have you thought about this question? Those of you who know me would remember I’d say “Never give up on your dreams.” But what else would I say?
Read work by other authors in your genre:
If you write children’s books, or fantasy, or romance, read some of those books. What did you like about the author’s style? Was the book well written and engaging?
Check your spelling and grammar:
It’s easy to think if you have spell check on your computer you might feel confident you don’t need to check your work for spelling errors. But before you get too excited think about words like two versus too, or form and from. It’s easy to overlook them because the computer won’t help you locate them.
Revise, revise and revise again:
Have you ever written a chapter and thought it was just right? The next morning you recheck it and wonder why you ever thought it was presentable. That’s why it’s important to keep rewriting. You may find things like overused words, or you could notice you started two consecutive sentences with the same word. You might have used too many exclamation points. They’re fine if you rarely use them, but boring if you find them on every page.
Read your work out loud:
If you read your work out loud, you can tell if it sounds logical. Does the story flow nicely? Is your dialogue lively? Does it move the story forward?
Is the opening paragraph engaging?
Is the beginning of your story interesting, or does it drag on with nothing happening? What would make your reader keep turning the pages?
Is there enough conflict, or struggle for the main character?
In order for your story to be captivating you must include a problem or conflict that requires resolution. Does the main character help solve the problem?
Does the story have a clear beginning, middle and ending that progresses well?
Did you give proper attention to each segment of the book? Don’t rush though anything just to say you’re finished. Be sure each part of the story reflects your best effort.
Have someone else read your work:
As many times as I’ve read my books, I miss things. Really, I reread them so much I should look like a cross-eyed lion. I never fail to miss something. If you have beta readers, that’s great. If not, ask a friend to check it out. Be sure to ask for their honest opinion.
I hope these little suggestions help you create something amazing that your readers will love.