For example, I read a lot of books for younger kids. Enough to know that mysteries, special trips, and amazing food make those books soooo much fun. When I wrote my short story “Enjoy the Poodle Skirt”, I included some of these themes. The story is original to me, but I learned how to make it tick from reading other books.
Since I don’t want my writing style to be a complete imitation of any one author, I read as widely as possible while sticking to my convictions. (If you need reading suggestions, check out my reviews. https://onceuponanordinary.wordpress.com/category/reviews/)
My character Brennan from my story “Kiera” could be described as “looking like Kirk Cameron (more hair, though) with the personality of Chief Sanders from a tv show, but when he’s sad he shuts off like such and such we used to know”. He’s quite the combination!
My blog post “Eyes Wide Open” (https://onceuponanordinary.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/eyes-wide-open/) talks about this idea a little more.
A few resources I’ve benefited from are Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” (short and helpful!) and “Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink” by Gail Carson Levine. This book is so encouraging and gives some great writing tips without being too dry. Another good one is “Finding the Core of Your Story” by Jordan Smith. It’s short and humorous, encouraging authors to sum up their story plot in ONE SENTENCE for marketing purposes and staying on track.
There are plenty of other great books, websites, and courses for aspiring authors, and I’m just getting started discovering them. ;)
This is the hardest one on the list, but the most important too. Traditionally published authors follow very tight schedules, and even though I’m self-published I’m learning to hold myself to the same standard. A lot more gets done this way. ;)
Noble Novels has been a great place to learn what it’s like to have recurring deadlines. Even if I have to take a break to prepare a backstock of stories for when life gets crazy, the accountability is worth it. ;)
NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo are also great ways to set goals and deadlines to get those words written! I’m using the April session for revisions and this November to hopefully start a brand new novel. *grins* (You can read more about both of them here. http://nanowrimo.org/about http://campnanowrimo.org/about)
What do you think? Do you have any tips to share?