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“Everyone can write like a pro if they come across the tricks Professionals learn by experience.”
In this post, I am going to share all the details that separate a professional writer from a beginner.
People have always come to me and asked about my experience as a writer but I believe I learnt more from the journey of just a reader to a writer who reads. When you are involved in creating art you automatically appreciate the artist and the art a little more. You can now feel the work and the thoughts a writer had put into creating a story rather than just enjoying the world he created.
The fact that you even thought about creating a world of your own is amazing and I would like to appreciate all the efforts you have made till now. You have a world in your mind and the courage to pick up the pen. Now you just need to move in the right direction.
If you haven’t started writing yet then I would suggest you read my post “5 successful tricks every writer should know”. It will help you to prepare the right mindset you need before beginning to write and can save you from a lot of trouble so that you can easily focus on the things I am going to tell you now.
A good writer is a good reader first.
But the catch here is, What you read.
To be a good writer, you need to learn from good books. So you should choose wisely the books you read.
The books you read are your direct teachers. Your writing style, your vocabulary and even the stories in your mind get influenced by them.
Just like how we had teachers in our schools, books are your teachers. Good books can teach you so much while the bad books can even ruin the good in you.
So choosing what you read is very important.
“Without a purpose, no action reaches its potential.”
Having a purpose in life is very important. Whatever you do, there has to be a purpose behind it. Your purpose is what defines your satisfaction, happiness and dedication to the work.
To help you understand it better, I will share a story with you that I read in my Moral Values textbook in junior school.
Once a tourist was walking by three men who were breaking the stones into smaller pieces that were to be used in making a new Church in the neighbourhood.
He went to the first man and asked why he was doing it. He replied, “Because I was told to.”
The tourist nodded and went to the second man who was breaking the stones. The second man replied, “I am doing this job to earn a living.”
The tourist nodded again and went to the third man. The third man replied, “I am breaking these stones to make a home for Jesus. Now people can come to him and find peace.”
Same work of manual labour but the purpose of doing it made all the difference. Who do you think is happiest and will do the work best?
Read that again.
The purpose in life is important and so is the purpose of you writing a book and the characters in it. When you are clear about it in your head, your readers can feel it too through your words.
So ask yourself, why are you writing this particular story? Why is your character doing this? Why is Riya stealing files from the office?
Do you want to create a world where an ordinary boy defeats the powerful and corrupt ruler with the purpose that justice prevails?
Is your book about fairies that fill your wishes because there is no one else to do it for you and the purpose is to find comfort in the world you create?
Or is it a love story because you are alone and the purpose is to feel loved?
The purpose involves both you and your characters because in every story you create you put a part of your soul into it. It will also help to build a strong emotion and justify the action of your characters.
Just like you have to know your purpose to write the book, you have to know the purpose of your characters too. You have to know why a character did what she did and what was her motive behind it.
Just like I told you now that the purpose why you decided to write this book matters and will help you stay motivated, knowing your characters’ purpose will save you from hitting a dead end.
If you know what and why then no one in the world can stop you, not even writers’ block.
3. SHOW NOT TELL
“When a reader reads the details, he gets the information,
But when a reader sees the details, he feels the essence.
People forget information, not feelings.”
This one is very important so read carefully. Read twice if needed because to use this, you have to understand its core.
If you got it just by the quote, you may skip to the next tip but if you want a clear picture just calm your mind and read.
Show not tell is like the hidden treasure of the kings in the writing kingdom whose secret they never reveal.
So what does it mean? Why is it so important?
In easy simple and direct language Show not tell means to show your readers what is happening instead of telling them it happened.
Sounds simple right? But its application is tricky.
To explain it a bit further, I would say you can either tell them that Rahul was sick OR you can write, “Sweat beads were rolling off his forehead as the tyranny of coughs continued. He was feeling cold on a sunny day and his face looked red.”
Which one you liked better?
It takes a little time, in the beginning, to get used to it but when you get it, it becomes a habit. It gets embedded in your writing style so you never have to consciously worry about that.
Now how to do it?
You can either describe everything in the scene that deserves to be noticed OR you can try my way.
Just get into the shoes of your character and write what you see.
As someone from outside, you will write Riya was angry with Rahul but if you get into Rahul’s shoes you will notice how Riya narrowed her eyes, how she is gritting her teeth and how Rahul’s eyebrows are knitted together because he got no clue what he did wrong.
Got it? Good.
Nope? Okay, read this.
Riya was angry with Rahul when he came back.
AND NOW THIS.
Rahul opened the gate to find his wife standing at the entrance with narrowed eyes and folded arms. She looked at him with unwavering eyes and gritted her teeth. With a sharp inhale, she turned quickly and went back to their room. Rahul’s eyebrows knitted together as he scratched his head and watched her leave.
You have to write exactly what your character feels and does in that situation. You don’t have to sum it up and give a summary. It is not your office presentation. You to show what are the things happening in the world you created and let readers figure it out as they do in real life.
Your teacher doesn’t have the word ANGRY written at his face when he sends you outside right? You just know he is angry. So you have to show your readers what is happening and they will get it.
As simple as that.
It is simple but underrated.
Most writers even the amateur me used to ignore this part but it is very important. I have learnt it the hard way but I hope you will take my advice and not do the same mistake.
Always reread your pieces.
If you have written something last night then don’t forget to re-read it today.
The best thing? No more typing errors.
You don’t have to edit it all and perfect it. Just re-read. Things will fall in place themselves. If there are sentences that need to be rewritten, you will get it instantly. You will get more ideas than last night because now you know what happens next so let your mind run wild.
Don’t miss this part please or a silly typo can ruin the fun.
“Pro Writers aren’t those who don’t commit mistakes. They are the ones who have already committed many kinds of mistakes so they remember not to repeat.”
No rocket science, no hidden treasure, no fortuneteller’s crystal. The tip is… Practice a lot.
But not just Practice.
You have to practice in the right direction. If you don’t know where you lack then it means you are practising your mistakes and getting better at doing the same mistakes.
Don’t do that.
Reread your stories, make notes where you were wrong and improve the mistakes next time.
And… you can keep checking my website for cool tips and tricks.
“Write today as a writer and read it tomorrow as a reader.”
A QUICK RECAP
I know you must be overwhelmed with information now so let me give you a quick recap to how you can write like a pro.
1. Read good books.
2. Know the purpose of writing your book and the reason behind the action of your characters
3. Show not tell.
5. Practice the right way.
If you are struggling with something, comment below and I will try to help you. I have worked very hard on this post and tried my best to narrow down all the things that matter. I hope you liked them. Comment below what you think of it. I would love to hear from you.