I know I'm still a new author, but that doesn't mean I haven't learned a lot from my past mistakes. In this little list, we'll cover: Writing, Beta-readers, Reviews, Requests, Work area, and when you're reading another author's work.
1. Always consider the possibility that someone might not like your work.
2. Try to put part of your soul into the writing and describe events with the most accuracy without rambling.
3. Set up a nice environment for your writing. For example, write in a notebook on your bed while the sun glazes your bedroom with warmth and joy. Writing in handwriting not only helps you to focus because of the texture of the notebook, but it's a lot quieter than typing on a computer. Just make sure you write as small as possible. A chapter's worth of writing is usually six or seven pages since regular handwriting, even if it's small, is exceptionally wide compared to the script on a computer.
4. Sounds help your mind focus at the task at hand. Usually, I listen to loud music to shut out any distractions. It may not work for you, though. So experiment. But whatever you do, don't listen the music that you have memorized or is slow. You'll end up writing the lyrics for the song instead of the story. Also, don't write while the television is on or when someone is talking. It'll distract you not only from your writing, but from the idea it's based around too if you're not careful.
5. Don't shower yourself in scents. Only let in soft aromas that are light. You don't want to end up smelling stuff the whole day without any progress.
6. Always e-mail yourself a copy of the finished work and save it on your computer. (That one goes without saying.)
7. Try to take a break once in a while. It's not healthy to type non-stop. For one thing, you could get carpal tunnel. (Me: Creepy.)
8. If you can't think of anything, watch some television or something. Soon, a plot bunny will be hopping around your head saying "Let me out damn it! Let me out!"
9. If you're still looking for a style, read a bunch of stories and determine which one you like best. Try to imitate their style, but edit it afterwards. You'll find that when you mix in your thoughts and personality with their style, it'll become your style. (Never cheat and take their style. I can't stress enough how much I despise copy-cats.)
10. Avoid writing poetry while listening to music. It's alright to listen to music when you're reading it, but listening while you're creating it, interferes with finding and keeping the beat you have with your piece.
11. After writing a fan fiction or work, make sure you post it up on all of your fan fiction writing accounts. Trust me. If you wait too long, they'll pile up and it's a massive pain to have to post them all up in one day. Depending on how many you have to post, it could take from half and hour to two or three. Little problems can turn into big ones if you leave them alone long enough. DON'T PROCRASTINATE!
1. Respect your beta reader and always ask before giving them a story to review. For all you know, they could already have ten stories waiting to be checked in their e-mail.
2. Always thank your beta-reader. They choose to help you out of the kindness of their hearts.
3. Only choose Beta-Readers that you think will enjoy the story based on their category. Before you contact a beta-reader, look up their profile and see if they like the category that your story is in. If so, ask and they might just say yes.
4. Don't take their destructive criticism to heart. They're just doing their job and you're the one who asked them.
1. Try to respond to everyone of your reviews personally. It kind of hurts when you're told the same thing that everyone else is. ( :( I don't feel special.)
2. If you're flamed, try to think positive. (It depends on the review.) Let them know that you're not really hurt by the comment. (It pisses them off. :P)
1. When a request is made by a reader, you'll obviously want to respond. Well, if the request is something you don't really know how to do, then check it out. For example, if it's a lemon, check out other lemons and create your own style. DON"T COPY! There is nothing worse than someone who steals another author's work.
2. Do your best to compromise with the reader's thoughts and your own as well, there's nothing wrong with displeasing them. After all, they requested it because they know that you'll add your own twist to it.
1. Keep it clean!
2. Try to keep a dictionary or a thesaurus around. Sometimes you'll realize that you've used a word ten times and that it's time to get a bigger vocabulary.
3. Keep a record on your stories and fan fictions.
4. No drinks unless it's absolutely necessary. If you spill, say bye-bye to your computer and all of the work you've stored on it. I repeat, you can only have a drink nearby if it's on a coffee table next to you (Below the height of the computer.) or if you're skilled and coordinated, unlike me.
5. Try to have a portfolio or a notebook around with your writing in it. That way, you won't lose any of your work.
6. Use sticky notes to remind yourself of new or old plot bunnies. It's a shame to forget really good plot bunnies, no matter how homicidal they can be. x.x
7. Separate your writing and notes into these categories(it helps to color code):
*Beta-ed, but need to post.
*Need to be Beta-ed
*Bunnies/ Need to start
*Need to finish
~ After you've separated them, file them or put them into folders.
8. Have a trash can nearby so you can clean more efficiently.
9. Have a list of Betas on your computer somewhere or better yet, one in a planner of some sort. That way, you can find one easier and quicker. Highlight the betas that usually respond the fastest.
10. To group specific (or random) items, consider getting a woven basket to put on your computer desk. Baskets never go out of style and are a simple, but useful way to store items without having to dig around for hours on end throughout the clutter (that you don't have because you're so organized =3).
Reading Another Author's Work
1. Don't analyze to death. Seriously, if you account for every teeny tiny spelling and grammar mistake, you need help. We're all human, and we make mistakes. Although, if you're the type of person who does it involuntarily, just don't say anything or e-mail the writer about your concern. Don't review or you could hurt their feelings or even embarrass them.
2. Try to review whenever you think it's alright. Don't review every single chapter, though. For a new author, do your best to review every four or so chapters and compliment them. For them, they're not so sure about themselves yet and helping them feel comfortable is, in my opinion, one of the duties of all the Luna writers. Perhaps we're not professionals, but we're still human and no one likes to be the sore thumb of the group. Help your fellow authors. Even a simple "Good job! I really enjoyed this!" can bring a smile to someone's face.