7 Essential Skills You Need to Become a Writer

Nicholas C. Rossis

Tess Pajaron | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis is a guest post by Tess Pajaron. With a background in business administration and management, Tess currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.

7 Essential Skills You Need to Become a Writer

Being a writer is so much more than the ability to envision and draft out a story. So many people make the mistake of believing that it’s easy work. In reality, writers work just as hard as people with other hobbies or professions. Anyone can write something, but it takes a lot to be a great writer. If you need a little inspiration or you ever feel stuck, consider building on these skills.

Writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books1. Creativity

There isn’t much of a point to telling a story that’s already been told a thousand times before. You may have your own spin on it, but seasoned readers will…

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How To Find A Great Beta Reader You Can Trust

Rachel Poli

Finding beta readers isn’t as hard as you would think. They’re everywhere as long as you know the right places to look.

But before we go into where you should find your beta readers, let’s talk about the characteristics you would like your beta readers to have.

Because, of course, you want to have the right beta readers on your team, right?

How To Find Beta Readers You Can TrustYour beta reader should…

  • Be your targeted audience. For example, they should have an interest in the genre you write and be the appropriate age.
  • They aren’t afraid to say what they think. They shouldn’t be afraid to tell you the truth about what they think of your book. If you have a beta reader who has absolutely no problems with your book, chances are something’s not right.
  • They’re not close friends or family members of yours. People close to you will have a tendency to bend the…

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The Curse of the Backstory

A Writer's Path

by Josh Langston

Of all the story-writing sins committed by beginning writers, by far the worst consists of dumping a trailer-load of backstory on the unsuspecting reader. Fortunately, this error becomes clear almost immediately, at least to the reader.

As an editor, this practice not only makes me cringe, it makes me wonder if the writer has ever actually opened a novel and read it. And by novel, I mean one written by someone with an actual story to tell, who can differentiate between the stuff that interests readers, and the stuff that puts ’em to sleep.

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Write with confidence when you discover your strength

jean's writing

Identify what you’re good at and grow stronger.

That’s right. We stand a little taller and walk with confidence when we’re proud of something. So play to your strong stuff.It’s also important to think about our weaknesses.

Me, my biggest weakness is tenses. I mix up the present and past tense all the time. Can’t help it so I’ve learned to accept this as a flaw and seek out help from grammar experts. Oh spelling, I’m terrible at spelling. Thank God for spell check.

A strength, imagination. I have a vivid imagination. Some of the crap that pops in my mind would get me committed to a state institution if I shared it all. LOL

But another weakness I have is finishing the damn story.

I’ve dozens of story starts, but like a coon dog with a good nose, I run off every time the wind blows a scent my way. There…

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How to Write a Biography Your Readers Will Love

The Long and Short Stories of Life

Category for a bookstore or library. Bookshelves  "Biographies & Memoirs".

So you’re writing a biography. Why? Ohhh, because your subject is interesting. She was a pioneer at what she did and her story deserves to be told. Sorry, that doesn’t make her interesting to me? I hope your subject struggled to be who she was. I hope she battled herself and the disbelieving, disapproving world to reach her heights!

Is her story set in a time when it was daring to do what she did? Were her conflicts man against man, man against nature, man against himself? Yes, this holds true for biographies as well as it does for fiction.

I wrote a short piece of entertainment about my own grandmother Aspiring to the Possibilities and people enjoyed reading it, however I wouldn’t say it was compelling reading.

My grandmother was something of a local celebrity in the circles in which she traveled, but her city, and the world at large, hardly knew who Dorothy Johnson was. I’d…

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~ How to Create Symbolism and Why you Should ~

Yvette Carol, Children's Writer

There is something you find interesting, for a reason hard to explain. –Annie Dillard

Book shelf real estate is tiny. It pays to remember that our book will only occupy a small amount of territory on that prized book or library shelf (if it gets there at all!) so we need to stand out. A number of years ago, I read a magazine article about small business start-ups creating their own symbolism, just the same way big companies choose logos. I wondered, why shouldn’t Indie writers also utilise this tool and create their own logos?

*Reason One: Our brains remember images before facts.

It’s a well-known fact that symbols work on our subconscious, and we humans respond to visual clues. There’s a reason all the major brands always build their businesses around a symbol. Once they establish a logo, the emblem then becomes synonymous with their name.

DSC00101*Reason Two: A…

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Writing Tips/Insights #13: Create Relatable Characters

A Writer's Path

by Liam Cross

When sitting down to read a book, readers like to read into the lives of characters who they can relate to on an emotional level. It gives them a personal attachment to the fictional world and makes them more hooked on the story. Forming this sort of attachment not only helps to better engage a reader, but it also helps them to solve some of their own problems whilst reading about others who are sharing them – even if it is fictitious.

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