People use New Year's Eve as a time to look back and reflect on mistakes they've made, to think about what they want to change...to get drunk on life (and other substances). While you're making out your resolution list this year, include a few that will help you become a better writer. Maybe 2013 is the year of your bestseller.
What should you resolve to do as a writer? Make up your list, stick to it, and your writing will improve as a result:
- Show what you mean. Don't tell me that Stacey walked downstairs to the front porch. Take me on the journey. Maybe the stairs creak when I walk down them, and the floor below is cold on my bare feet. Is it cold on the front porch, or warm and sunny? Always write descriptively in the upcoming year, and write better.
- Write real dialogue. Make your dialogue sound true to life. Read it out loud, and ask yourself if this is how people really talk.
- Read and re-read. Edit, edit, edit. Many readers shun indie authors because they think our books are poorly edited. Let's prove them wrong in the upcoming year. Read and re-read your book until it's letter-perfect.
- Research. Make your books richer with good research. Describe your settings and venues more fully by getting to know something about them first. Readers want to taste the food, see the beach, watch the play -- so do your research, and make your writing even more readable.
- Think about your characters. All of your characters should feel like real people, not just the main character. Think about what they look like and who they are, how they spend their time and what drives them. In your characters' minds, they aren't supporting cast members. Everyone is the main character in their own life story.
- Get serious. Keep yourself more organized, and treat your writing more like a business in the New Year. Remember that you are a brand, and you've got to market your brand accordingly.
Resolve to be a better writer, and get serious about your craft in 2013...after the party is over, of course.