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Me and Writing

When it comes to writing, I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Throughout that time, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about it. How did you get started? What made you want to write? Who inspired you? Where do your ideas come from?

Truthfully, I have a hard time answering these questions. I suppose I started writing because I loved reading and I loved watching shows and cartoons that were based on stories. I loved having this… other universe that I had invented, that I could do whatever I wanted within.

My mom and my teachers encouraged me to keep writing, and my favorite authors’ books kept me interested in the subject.

My ideas come from everywhere. Reading, writing other books, going for a walk, a dream or a nightmare, a random quote, an even more random conversation. Inspiration is all around us. Writers do what they can to pick an idea out of them.

Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of questions revolving around advice and what advice I have for aspiring authors.

To start with, I’ve been writing, on average, since I was five. As I’m typing this, that’s been fourteen years of my life. It wasn’t until the last six years or so, however, that I started to work on improving my writing and developing my style and craft. I’ve done what I can to fit into a particular style of writing, and in that time, I’ve learned a few things.

Some writers plan, plot, and outline before they start writing. This works for some, and it doesn’t work for others. I, personally, can’t outline. Knowing how a story ends before it’s written makes it impossible for me to continue with the actual book. The goal is to find what works for you. That could be a rough outline, it could be a few bullet points or lists of plot points, or it could be nothing (or next to nothing) at all. Despite what others may say, the biggest concern here is simply working through processes until you find the one that works the best for you.

I’ve found that, in writing, one of the biggest, most attractive objectives is creating interesting characters that the audience can be attached to. This doesn’t mean your character has to be the good guy. He could be the evilest man in the world, but if you spin it right, your readers can still be attached to him, and they won’t want to lose him.

Your characters have to be as realistic as you can possibly make them. They need to have real flaws, and they have to deal with the problems that other people face in real life. Having these flaws and sorting through these problems make the readers care about your characters, and it makes the reader want to know what is going to happen to the character next.

Another big part of writing is the description involved in the story. It’s all about the details! Describe your character’s feelings. Let the reader know what your main character is feeling, hearing, seeing, etc.. Involve as many of the senses as you can as often as possible without overdoing it (that can be a hard balance to find, especially in the beginning).

There are many other pieces of writing (plot, setting, theme, etc), but characters and descriptions are the ones I always needed the most improvement on. I could write a story with an actual plot without too much issue, but in the beginning, writing characters that seemed real was incredibly difficult. Even now, I have an unlikeable or improbable character peppered in among the nearly real-life ones.

Writing can never be perfect, even when you want it to be. Once it’s as good as you think it can possibly be, there’s still going to be room for some improvement, and that’s a good thing. As long as there’s room to improve, you’re willing to grow and continue to learn.

As long as you keep in mind that it isn’t going to be perfect, you’ll be all right. That is my biggest piece of advice to new writers.

It isn’t going to be perfect.

And that’s just fine.

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