There is no secret.
Read. Write. Read. Write. Read. Write again. Read as much good writing as you can absorb. Re-write. Re-write again. Re-write again, until it’s the best it can be. Publish.
But, before you start on any writing intended for public consumption, make sure you have the necessary tools. These include, in no particular order:
- · Imagination (without it, your fiction will be sterile)
- · A working knowledge of the language you’re using to convey your ideas (anything less is an insult to your potential readers)
- · Patience (it usually takes years to get noticed)
- · A hide like a rhino (to deflect the many negative comments you’ll receive)
- · An ability to research (you can’t know everything)
- · A place to write (anywhere will do, as long as it’s okay for you and it is your ‘writing’ place)
- · Another job or an independent income (you’ll probably never make enough money to live on: e.g. the average British novel generates less than £2000 for the author)
- · Perseverance (there are many distractions and barriers along the way)
- · A compulsion to write (without it you’re doomed to remain a wannabee)
- · Having something to say (otherwise it’s all just words)
There are undoubtedly other qualities that are useful, but I consider those above essential.
So, there you have it: No secret. The simple fact is, if you’re a writer, you will write; you have no choice.
And, if you must read books on writing, start with Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer; it could save you a good deal of heartache and wasted time. For my review of this excellent book click here.