Every audience will be critical of a bad author so it is important to learn the word-trade before beginning. Some refer to authors as word-smiths and that’s about the size of it. Crafting words into sentences might seem easy at the school level but when it come to publishing works there is a lot more to it. Over the years and by doing a journalism course I have managed to pick up some good tips.
In passing these on it is important to point out that writing is a personal journey, and often a lonely one. You are the connection between what a reader perceives and what that work does for them. In other words, your information must be something that person wants or from which there is a benefit.
To be successful you need to know what you are talking about. Don’t venture down tracks you have never walked on. I have a saying that “you don’t know the view if you haven’t walked on the street.” The same goes for experience. If you want to tell something through the eyes of others, such as in story writing, then you need to know how they would feel, talk, and the emotions involved.
The question then becomes how do you get all of this and become such an expert. One way is to read but a better way is to take from your own life. Relatives and friends are often used by authors as models for people in stories. These are one that you have contact with and can ask their opinion about how they would react under certain circumstances.
Authors like Mark Twain and Charles Dickens were masters at this. They took snippets from their lives and turned them into great stories using the familiar to explain the unknown side of their characters. They used well-adjusted patterns to fill in the blanks and they turned an incident into a drama or comedy depending on the circumstances.
That’s another thing that brings a piece of writing alive. Crafting it is best done by digging deep into your psyche and spilling it out without thought until its done. What do I mean by that? Inside we have a voice that does our talking and other things for us. One can start with a blank sheet and know nothing of what to write. Then comes a heading and then words begin to flow.
The words that pour out as these that are hitting this page can be read over and corrected where necessary. But the bottom line is that one is writing from the heart and not from the mind. That, after all, is where the best authors pick up their ideas and write about them. This type of flow to a word-smith is as important as gold is to a bank. The audience fed from it will think they have won a fortune and critics will fade into the distance.