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15 Writing Tips From a Pro So You Can Start and Finish Your Book With Success

Prolific sci-fi/fantasy writer Sarah Hoyt tells her secrets. What are you waiting for? It's time to start your book!

Sarah Hoyt


May 3, 2014 - 8:00 am
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Sometimes you have to trust your complex moves will work out. You won’t crack your head on the pavement.

When a dancer rehearses his part of an intricate choreographed dance, he has to trust that he’s fitting in with the rest of it. That’s sort of what you’re doing. You’re doing what you learned to do, with craft; you’re telling the story your mind has created. Trust yourself and work forward.

Trust that it will be good when it’s done, or at least that you can rewrite it so it’s good. Trust yourself — which can be really difficult.

And you think, “What if it’s too ungrounded and makes no sense? What if it’s too slow? What if it’s boring?”

It might very well be. Or it might not. You won’t know till it’s done. Once you’re done, your beta readers should be able to give you a clearer idea of whether you messed up or not.

Sometimes I still get: “Your opening is slow. This is where it got better.” And then I go back and study whether it’s true or a reflection of that reader’s particular bias. (Yes, that happens too. Some people don’t like novels that start with jail escapes, or novels that start with the character asleep, or whatever. Readers are people too. This is why you need more than one — so you can check them against one another.)

The point is that if it turns out to be too slow, once it’s done, you can always go back and rewrite it. But not until it’s done.

For now, you just can’t tell. Keep your head down. Keep working. Keep your figures in the dance and trust that it all works out.

Don’t let your insecurities morph into an excuse to not write. The world is full of people who started a novel.  There are far fewer people who have finished a novel, let alone multiple novels. Your goal is to write and keep writing.


Images courtesy shutterstock / wtamas /  Leonid Dushin / Alexander Shadrin / Dmitry Yakunin

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SIXTY-ONE Pages? I'm thinking that PJM's Paginator thingy went mad.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's 15 articles that each averaged 4 pages compiled together. Thus 60 pages plus a one page index.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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