How to Slay Others with Your Writing – Guest Post by Traci Kenworth…

How to slay others with your writing comes with practice and confidence in yourself and in your writing. When you’re younger, you stumble down the road not sure where to go, what to see in life. That’s why experienced writers have always recommended to those coming after them, for the others to take their time, watch the swans in the pond. Dream. Dreaming helps whet that appetite.

What appetite you ask? Why, the one for making writing more than just a pit stop. The more you do something, the more you learn. That’s a truth universal. We don’t want to believe it’s that easy. We insist there must be some secret that the big writers are keeping from us. Some magic they found along the way. And there is: it’s called butt-in-the-chair. You keep at it. Even when it’s tough. No matter how much you feel like giving up. You don’t.

You go on. You keep on. Even when it’s hard. Despite wanting to throw away the manuscript, you fight the urge. And gently tuck it away. Wait. Pull it forth. Begin again after you’ve given it some distance. The distance helps. It helps you take stock on things you couldn’t when you were too close to things. That’s how you get through. Make progress. One step at a time.

Sort of like life. You learn new techniques as you go about the process. Marketing. Interviews. Small time at this point, of course, but hey, they lead to notice and notice is what you want and someday those small time will come in handy. Blogging is a good thing to have a go at. Blogging builds in that blog-a-week or month mentality. It gets you used to writing regularly. Something you need to do if you want to make a career of this.

It also gets you recognition, which is not a bad thing, lol. The more you blog, the more you put together posts, you have to focus, to learn how to become a better writer. You’re constantly challenging yourself to come up with better offerings than the time before. That drive will help you improve your tools. What tools? Well, your grammar. Your sentence structure. Learning how to put together posts that, hopefully, don’t bore your audience.

And there’s so much more. At first, you stumble. Your writing is jagged, harsh, but slowly, you begin to turn things around. Before you know it, you teach yourself how to go about things. It comes from reading and practice. Studying how others do it makes it easier to see how to apply it to your own work. You don’t want to copy others, I stress. Everyone has their own way of writing, their own “Voice.”

Another good thing to get in the habit of is writing short stories. They too, will be warped and unbalanced when you begin writing them. Each adventure, each story will challenge and teach you new tricks, new insights into writing, into your craft. You will grow as you continue to revise them each time they come back to you (and hopefully, before you send them out as well). Keep them headed out until you’ve exhausted all markets.

Of course, you aren’t just focusing on the one story. You are writing others as you wait. You kind of push the stories like a revolving door. Always wanting to keep going. You have those to revise. Those ideas to write. And the ones to work with a publisher on when it’s time. Another good thing about the short story writing is the length. Because they’re shorter than books, they give you a sense of accomplishment sooner. That’s harder to find in just sticking to book length.

Sometimes the time it takes to write that longer work can weigh you down. If you’re not “finishing” anything cause you’re writing an umpteenth draft, it can affect your mental health. Writing short stories gives that break, that sense of accomplishment. In truth, it can help you return to the book length energized, ready to tackle its depths because of that end. I know it has helped me tremendously.

I have spent a lot of time trying to get my novels out there and published but it hasn’t happened yet. I was starting to feel like I never accomplished anything. Short stories stepped in and saved the day. Ray Bradbury said that if you wrote short stories 365 days a year, it was impossible not to write at least one good one in that time. Doesn’t that make you feel better? And I bet there’s more than just one.

In regard to research, some writers do heavy research before starting projects. Others do research while writing. I tend to do some beforehand then more during the writing process as I’m never sure what I’ll need to know until I need to know it. Plus, it keeps the information fresh in my mind which sadly at my age and with my health doesn’t always tend to cling anymore. Whenever you do your research, try to use reliable resources if you can.

There’s no greater heartbreak than to realize that the research you thought you’d snagged for the story turned out to be wrong and so ruined the story all together. Sure, you can try to write around it, but it never seems the same again. It just takes one small detail to get wrong to mess everything up. This is why I’m hesitant to write Regencies or Victorian romances. The stories are so in-depth, their reader so knowledgeable about everything, the slightest thing can throw them out of the story.

And readers can be vicious when you get facts wrong. I like to think most people will forgive slight oversights because it’s not possible to get everything right and sometimes there are occasions when you need to change the facts. Just to fit in with where you’re going with the story. Tweak things a bit. Yes, it upsets some but hopefully, those who delight in the overall story will accept it. How to slay others with your writing is for the most part, to keep writing. Keep practicing. Give it your all. Trust in the process. It’ll happen. And if you mess up, you can always try again. No matter what you might hear. Pick another name to write under if necessary. Just don’t give up writing.

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11 thoughts on “How to Slay Others with Your Writing – Guest Post by Traci Kenworth…

  1. SO, SO SORRY and EMBARRASSED to you as well, Chris! I had such trouble with my computer and lost the link as I told Sally above. Thank you for hosting me, I appreciate it! I hope my mess-up won’t keep me from being allowed to post again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m SO, SO SORRY and EMBARRASSED, Sally! I lost the link to this post and didn’t recover it in my computer till now (it’s been acting up the past week). It doesn’t matter whether you write long or short! Write what’s within you. It’s not a contest. It’s not something you ever have to prove. You’re a writer. If you write words, you meet that definition. What you choose to do with those words is up to you. Don’t ever feel you have to do more to impress someone. That’s not what this is about. I think the writing journey is about “discovering ourselves.” Who we are, why we are, and what we stand for. Thanks for stopping by and God bless! Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people


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