10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer by Wendy VanHatten, author of 'Champagne Lies'


Title: Champagne Lies
Genre: Mystery
Author: Wendy VanHatten
Publisher: DocuMeant Publishing
Pages: 246
Language: English

She should have been on her 30th wedding anniversary trip. Instead, Stacie stumbles upon a body where it should not be…an upscale beach on the Mexican Rivera. She also should have been celebrating with the man she has been married to for those 30 years. Instead, she finds out she may not have really known what he did or who he was. Things happen to her she can’t explain. Who is the mysterious Maria in Italy, why did her husband need secret, hidden rooms, who do the guns belong to, and who was the man she married? Nothing is as it appears…and Stacie keeps finding more surprises the more pieces she uncovers. From dead bodies to stolen jewels…it just keeps getting worse.

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer 

1. Pick the right writing workshop: If you are going to attend a writing workshop, check it out first to make sure it’s right for you. If you are a beginning writer, you probably won’t get as much out of one geared toward published authors. Make sure it’s a good fit. Then put the information into practice as it works for you.

2. Find a mentor: When looking for a mentor, there are several things you should consider. First, look for a person that ‘has been there and done that’. Your friend, who loves cats but has never written anything other than emails, probably isn’t going to be the best mentor. Once you have a good mentor, give their suggestions a try. Don’t ignore what they have to say!

3. Write what you know: You’ve probably heard this. It’s true. It’s easier to write about things you already do or know. This doesn’t mean ONLY what you know. But, it makes your writing more believable if you’ve actually done what you are having your character do.

4. Devote a space dedicated to your writing: This can change but I find it works best if I write in the same place.

5. When you’re ready to write…write: I write on my computer in my office. I find it’s best if I don’t make my grocery list, read the mail, or play games during the time I am there to write. That can happen at a different time.

6. Organize: If you’re doing research, organize your thoughts and outline so you accomplish your research. If you’re working on a character, organize your thoughts so you think about that character.

7. Organize your writing space ahead of writing time: If your space is a cluttered mess, you probably will spend more time cleaning than writing.

8. Talk to other writers: Any tips you can get along the way…write them down so you can refer back to them. I keep a notebook of ‘tips’ gained from others.

9. Continue to learn: Writing itself may not change, but circumstances, genres that interest you, trends, etc. change and evolve all the time. Keeping up with what is going on in the industry helps in your writing.

10. Write…write…write: It sounds easy and elementary. But, it’s not. Writing everyday keeps you in the habit of writing. The more you write, the more of a habit it becomes and the easier it is to keep that habit.


Wendy VanHatten is a published author, Editor of Prime Time Living Magazine, professional editor for authors, and contributing writer in additional magazines. Her children’s books, the Max and Myron series, teach children to read as they learn how to become good citizens with positive character traits. She has taught writing at the college level and travel writing for continuing education workshops. Currently, she documents travel advice and photos in her blog,  www.travelsandescapes.blogspot.com. More information about Wendy and her books may be found at www.wendyvanhatten.com. Her books are available on Amazon or from her website.
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