Ron’s Lit Tip Writer’s Growth

Featured

10 01 2020

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Are you a beginning writer?

Have you written your first book?

Have you written several books?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, then you have something in common with most writers: You need to grow, to improve.

What’s wrong with my writing?

I didn’t say anything was wrong. A better question would be: How do I grow as a writer?

OK, how do I grow?

Think about muscles. If you work out with weights and other exercise equipment there is a likelihood that you are going to get stronger. And if you don’t work out there is an equal chance you will get weaker. Muscles need exercise. Well, think of your writing. The skills you have developed are like muscles. Just like muscles need to be exercised, your writing muscles need to be used.

But Growth also needs Food.

Just as your body and your muscles need vitamins and other nutrients, you as an author also need something. That something can be many things, such as learning new skills, shedding mistakes that hold you back, maybe adding a genre to the one you already have, and many more.

Genre?

Yes. Each genre has its own unique characteristics. For example, my first genre was Historical Fiction. I wrote books that took place in history. My series The World That Was is based on history that took place in biblical times. But my novel Dead Eye Will took place in American History. These are sub-genres under Historical Fiction. So, even adding a sub-genre to your resume can add to your overall appeal and, more importantly, to your skill set.

But adding an altogether different genre will definitely sharpen your skills and add new ones. I told you above that I wrote, and still write, Historical Fiction. I love history and that was a natural for me. But I also enjoy science fiction, so I decided to try writing Science Fiction, although what I write is more appropriately called Speculative Fiction. (I explain the difference as Speculative Fiction being Science Fiction without little green men. It is futuristic, can take place in space, here on Earth, and never involve aliens.)

Two Different Genres Require Two Different Skill Sets.

Some skills transfer to any genre, but writing historical novels requires a knowledge of history and the placement of the novel within the selected historical times. On the other hand, speculative novels require a knowledge of science, whether space science or future science that may impact our daily lives. Since it is generally futuristic you are writing history in advance. This resulted in my Christland series.

If that wasn’t enough, I have become interested in Mystery, a totally different genre. I am currently working on a mystery that involves murder and science set in the future.

These three genres are different from one another and demand different skills from me. Some I know, others I am learning. And that is what I mean by growing. I am adding new skill sets to what I already had and using new tools to do it. These represent multiple genres.

Tip: To grow, add to yourself new skills, tools, and maybe genres.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices

Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Taking the First Step

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at Taking the First Step.

The First Step

Last week I wrote about a new author, my wife. But today I want to write perhaps about you.

You read about someone like Tess and you think, I could do that? But you don’t.

Then you read the book, smile, and think, I’d like to write a book like that. But you don’t.

Life continues on and one day you think, I wish I’d written a book. But you didn’t.

What’s wrong with the above. It’s simple. You didn’t take the first step.

What is the First Step?

Tess Riddle had gone to college not to be a writer, but to seek skills she could use on the job. But the Entrance Exam showed she had writing skills. Plus, her English professors encouraged her to write. But I can truthfully say that I don’t recall her ever saying she wanted to be a writer.

When the desire to write began I’m not sure. Perhaps I’ll ask her in an interview someday. But she had not yet taken the first step.

Again, What is the First Step?

Essentially the first step is making a commitment. Thinking about writing a book doesn’t get a book written, but if you commit yourself to something there is a better chance of it happening.

Think of a baby. They aren’t born walking. They have to commit themselves. In their case the mother and father want to see them walk, so they encourage them, assist them, and put them in positions where that first step will take place. The parents make the initial commitment.

The baby doesn’t start off thinking I want to walk. Somewhere along the way the parents’ dream becomes their dream and purpose.

Writing is similar.

My wife was told she had the tools to write, but she didn’t start writing. The burdens of life got in the way. But she still had the tools and as time went on the concept of a story.

One day I learned of her secret desire to write. And I encouraged her. Did I know how well she could write? No. As her husband I loved her and believed in her, so I encouraged her.

But it wasn’t until she purposed in her heart and to God to write the book that she really took that first step.

But it was more than a purpose

Tess (aka Teresa) had to do more than think about writing. She had to do more than come up with a plot. She had to do more than say, I’m going to write.

The truth is that all of us have things we want to do. But we don’t take that first step. She could have given up when we moved down here to sunny Florida to take care of her mother. Yes she was delayed, but the secret burned within her.

She could have given up when I suffered a heart attack shortly after she declared her desire to write. Even though I encouraged her, she could see difficulties at least for the short term. She had a husband to care for. But the dream still burned within.

Over the years, she’s struggled to get that first book on paper. But life kept getting in the way.  But finally one day, she committed herself to writing a book. She made a commitment to herself and to God that she would write. Making a commitment to God is very difficult to do, but also very motivating.

She had taken the first step.

Or did she?

I ask that question because we really haven’t defined the first step yet. I did mention commitment, but there’s more.

Commitment to do something takes you only so far. Part of commitment is to actually start writing. With life constantly demanding her attention, it was difficult and frustrating. Add to that the advice coming at her from me and others.

But the day came when she started writing. Not to please me nor others. And I don’t believe it was to please herself. The day came when she believed that God wanted her to write. That was a major step.

But that still wasn’t the first step.

Commitment means not letting obstacles stop you

I’ve already mentioned the obstacles she faced. But here is where she finally made the first step. She sought God’s will, kept writing, and overcame the obstacles. In retrospect the fact that she wrote a first draft of the book was the first step.

It is relatively easy to write the first few chapters but persevering and finishing the book takes a lot of faith, grit, and pushing on. She faced a constant battle that threatened to stop her, but she continued on and finally was able to deliver to me the first draft.

That was when she took the first step.

What I’m trying to say, is that when that baby took his or her first step it wasn’t really the first step. But when that baby began walking ever so wobbly, falling, and getting back up that was the first step. And then the baby started adding things like running.

As a writer you will face obstacles. If you stop because of them, you haven’t really taken that first step. But when you persevere and complete that first rough draft, you’ve proven to yourself you can do it.

Sure, there is a lot of work before the first draft becomes a published work. But now your confidence starts growing and you can take the second, third, fourth, and more steps!

Now she was ready to get the help she needed to become a published author. And that is when I could really help her through TR Writing Services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), World of Jacob (Book Five) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. I value your reviews.

And now we add to the list. You may review Tess Riddle’s novel Haney Place Secrets simply by following the steps below.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.