Today, Danika Stone, author of the recently released mystery novel Edge of Wild (Stonehouse Publishing) and the upcoming young adult contemporary novel All the Feels (Macmillan), joins the blog to help inspire and guide all of you aspiring writers out there. Keep reading as Danika shares her top five writing tricks!
Everyone likes to give advice. (Writers even more than usual!) We just don’t like to follow it. So when I was asked to write a post on my top five writing tricks, I really had to think about what was going to say. What works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. But there are little things that may translate.
Writing can be a solitary, difficult process, but it’s so incredible when it comes together. This is how I survive to that point:
1. Be a slave to schedule. The only way to write fifty thousand words is to sit down and write fifty thousand words. Make a plan (a page, a paragraph or a scene a day) and don’t let yourself stop until you reach it.
2. Your first draft is terrible times a million. Accept it. Move on. I wish I could tell you some secret to writing better or faster, and not having to edit it a hundred times over, but if there is one, I don’t have it. (Go ask Stephen King.)
3. Forget that the process will ever end. You may write this book, query it, and get nowhere. You might write a first draft and have it picked up by an agent the next day. Worrying about which one will happen hinders your process. Just. Write.
4. Hone your skills by helping others. You are short of time. I get that. (I really do!) But helping others by beta-reading, copy-editing and otherwise assisting doesn’t just help them, it helps you. You see what works and what doesn’t, and your writing is polished without even picking up a pen.
5. Trust that you can. Don’t listen to those people who tell you to ‘be rational’. Don’t believe the haters who rip apart your stories. Forget all the rejections. Writing is hard enough without letting your own brain belittle your love of words. So force on the rose-colored glasses and fake it until you make it. You really can be anything you want because you’re the one writing the story.
Trust me on that. You CAN.
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (Edge of Wild, The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada. Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.