Underlying theme of this article:
Not everyone can be a fabulous author, but they can get better.
Did it engage them? Did it move them? Did it change them?
I don’t believe that just anyone can become a good writer.
Who wants to be good at something that anyone can master?
And while I don’t believe anyone can become a good writer, I do passionately believe everyone can become a better writer.
"Before you get good, you need to get better."
- Empathy – the ability to put yourself in the mind of your reader or your characters. It helps the novelist create believable characters who are nothing like their creator.
- Imagination – Imagination helps the fantasy writer create unfamiliar yet believable worlds.
- Passion – Passion is the creative energy that carries you through times of uncertainty and rejection.
"And you recognize that there will always be more to learn."
- Study – you learn the principles of good writing and the conventions of your chosen form. You seek to understand other elements of good writing, such as tone, pace and structure.
- Practice – you write and rewrite until your work is as good as your current skills allow. You create a writing habit and commit to a daily target.
- Feedback – you seek comments and criticism from other writers, friends, teachers, perhaps a mentor. And when the feedback suggests that your writing falls short, you return to study and to practice.
"Surprisingly, the habits that give you the best chance of becoming a good writer have little to do with writing."
- Live fully outside your writing. Life experiences are the fuel for authentic and powerful writing.
- Cultivate eclectic tastes. Read widely beyond the confines of your subject or genre.
- Indulge your passions. True passion is a rare commodity and should be embraced wherever it arises.