Literary Corner Cafe

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Writing Tips - The Two Biggest Mistakes New Writers Make - Before They Even Write

A lot of people ask me to critique their writing. Some of it is good, some is mediocre, and some is abominable (and no, I won't tell you whose is what). However, I've noticed that new or inexperienced writers tend to make two huge assumptions that lead to mistakes in their writing:

1. They believe anyone can write. This simply isn't true. Not everyone can sing. Not everyone can play a musical instrument. Not everyone can learn to play a sport with precision. The same goes for writing. Not everyone can learn to write. Not everyone's brain works the way a writer's brain should work. Not everyone has writing talent to develop.

2. They think that when they touch pen to paper the words will flow magically. This is a total myth. Even if one has tons of writing talent, there's no such thing as a "natural." Writing takes hard work and it takes practice. First, any would be author has to learn the mechanics of storytelling - story structure, dialogue, pacing, thematic development, and point-of-view, just to begin. Then, it takes practice, preferable thirty to sixty minutes every single day. We don't learn to play the violin just by picking it up and placing the bow on the strings. Why should writing be any different? It isn't. Accept this fact and commit to learning about and practicing your writing skills on a daily basis.

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