Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tipsy Tuesday

"There is a common belief that because most of us are literate and fluent, there is no need to serve an apprenticeship if we want to become a successful wordsmith... That’s what I thought until I tried to write my first novel. I soon learnt that a novel, like a piece of furniture, has its own set of requirements, laws of construction that have to be learnt. Just because I had read plenty of novels didn’t mean I could write one, any more than I could make a chair because I had sat on enough of them." (Nigel Watts, Teach Yourself Writing a Novel)

If you want to write, then you need to read, read, read. Read fiction in the genre you want to write to see how other authors are doing it. Read books on craft so you have the basics of grammar, punctuation, structure, etc. And practice. As Mr. Watt's said above, don't think that you can sit down and write a best-seller first thing out of the gate. Don't assume you'll sell the first novel you write. You may not. You may not sell the fifth novel you write, but hopefully your fifth one is much better than your first one. If it's not, then you need to get back to basics.