10 Tips To Becoming a Better Writer by William R. Leibowitz
Prepare as highly detailed an outline as possible. This will save you a great deal of time in the long-run because you’ll cut-down on the wasted effort of writing portions of the book which land-up being discarded when they don’t fit in structurally. The more detail that’s contained in the outline—the better. It’s easier to fine-tune, revise and develop an outline than the full-fledged prose of the novel. If the outline isn’t compelling –the novel
2. Once you have the final outline in hand, it’s time to start writing the book. The hardest thing to do is to write that very first sentence. Just do it. The sentences to follow will get easier as you immerse yourself in the process. And soon, you’ll find that you are getting into “the rhythm of writing.”
3. Take your time—writing a novel isn’t a race.
4. Let people whom you respect among your family and friends, pre-edit your work once you are happy with it. Do this on a regular basis –i.e., every six or seven chapters, rather than waiting until you finish the novel. Take their comments and criticisms seriously because they are a gauge of what the public will think—except the public will likely be less sympathetic. Remember that you are writing a novel to connect with many people –so it does you no good to take a “superior attitude” and assume that you’re right and your “ordinary reader critics” are wrong. You don’t have to pander to public tastes, but unless you’re writing the book just for yourself – you need to be cognizant of what others think of your efforts.
5. When you read portions of your writing out loud –do they sound really good to you? If they don’t —then your re-writing efforts are not over. You need to be impressed with your writing. If you’re not –then no one else will be.
6. When you read the emotional parts of your novel to yourself –do they really move you and connect with you viscerally? If not –then your re-writing efforts are not over.
7. Develop self-discipline about the process of writing. It’s important that you sit down in a quiet place with regularity (preferably every day) and try to write at least a few hundred words that reasonably satisfy you. If you let long time periods go by between your writing sessions, you will lose creative momentum.
8. There’s no point trying to write when you’re physically tired, mentally exhausted or inebriated. And there’s no point trying to write if you think it’s going to be easy to write.
9. You need to recognize that everything you write isn’t holy. If you aren’t prepared to tirelessly rewrite and improve your work, then your end product will be a shadow of what it could be.
10. Remember that the words you write and publish, won’t go away. They are not ephemeral like talking. These words will outlive you, somewhere –whether in print or on the internet. So—are you truly satisfied with them? You’re not finished until you’re proud of what you’ve written and believe that it is the best you can do. Your work represents the core of who you are. It defines you.
William R. Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years. He has represented numerous renowned recording artists, songwriters, producers and many of the leading record companies, talent managers, merchandisers and other notable entertainment businesses. At one point, he was the Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel for the Sanctuary Group of Companies, a U.K. public company that was the largest ‘indie’ music company in the world (prior to its acquisition by the Universal Music Group).
William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University. He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George.
William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times – when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero –and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man. Miracle Man won Best Thriller in the National Pacific Book Awards.
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