It's not easy to break into print, no matter what kind of
writing you do! Roni wrote and sent out her work for one year
before selling her first story. She took a course called "Writing
for Fun and Profit" after she had been writing for nearly
a year...and she now teaches the course! She'll be posting
helpful hints for writers here.
WRITING TIP #1
Use strong verbs! Substituting specific, stronger
verbs for forms of the verb "to Be" (like is, was
etc.) will make your writing so much stronger! Though you
can't do it all the time, scrutinize your work to use strong
verbs whenever possible. Look at the differences in these
- He was in the room.
Strong verb: He slouched against the wall of the
- He went into the room.
Strong verbs: He strode into the room.
He ran into the room.
He bounced into the room.
This is an easy problem to fix when you're revising your
WRITING TIP #2
Remember your character's motivation! Whether it's
the hero or heroine, or even a villain, all characters have
motives for their actions. Sometimes the characters don't
realize why they do something, but you as the writer must
For example, a hero who's been badly hurt by a former love
may want to avoid falling in love again. A villain may want
to kill for revenge, or for greed.
Just make sure you know the character's motives, and that
they become apparent to the reader, even if the character
doesn't discover why they act a certain way until later on
in the story.
WRITING TIP #3
Open your story with a "hook"-something
exciting! Avoid long descriptions, characters who are thinking
about something that has already happened or happened in the
distant past, and flashbacks. Those can be used when you are
further into the story. You must catch your readers' attention
Mystery writers are fond of saying, "Open with the blood
on page one." Even if you're not writing a murder mystery,
you have to open with something that will grab the reader.
WRITING TIP #4
Write your book, story or article quickly! Then go
back and revise it. If you stop to revise in the middle of
writing, you may never finish your manuscript. You need to
get the whole thing down on paper, then you can mold it into
WRITING TIP #5
When plotting your story or book, think in terms of SCENES. Just as you see in a
play or movie, scenes are where most of the story takes place. Start planning for the
action in each scene in order to move your book forward.
This section will be updated often. Check back for more tips!