Tips by Katja- part one

Good Afternoon everyone! Today I’m joined by a good friend of mine. I reached out a while ago and asked if anyone had any tips they felt like sharing. This lovely lady sent me not one, not two, but SIX epic tips that she would love to share with you. I have split her tips into two articles. That way we can use the first few and see how they work! Katja is a published author of quite a few books: one of my favorites being “An Old Time Christmas”. Her current work in progress “the Colour of Nativity” is amazing, so keep an eye out! The links to her site will be down below. For now, let’s jump in and see the first three tips she has to share with us!

1) Try to say exactly what you mean as briefly as you can. Clarity doesn’t mean your writing need become like William Strunk’s. Consider Dickens and Hugo. Master writers they were, with classic masterpieces the whole world knows and has loved for ages. Yet how different their writing is when compared to Jane Austen! Think of L.M. Montgomery as opposed to E.B. White. Compare Elizabeth Gaskell, the Brontë sisters, or Louisa May Alcott to Jack London, Anna Sewell, or Arthur Conan Doyle. Every writer has his own style that sets him apart. Some have a briefer voice; others have a more wordy one. Yet both can be clear and concise. Mark Twain wrote big novels—and he also advocated brevity in writing. 

The requisition is “not that the writer make all sentences short, or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” Don’t let an unnecessary word creep in. Make every word say exactly what you want it to say. Try to say exactly what you mean as briefly as you can.

2) You know, there are two things I know now that I wish I’d known as a teenager, which would have made my writing life so much easier. Number One: Don’t Rush Into Publishing. Often authors who publish in their teens produce books that are simply full of flaws, and then when they’re older, they either have to let the books be (very embarrassing), take them down (waste of money), or rewrite, edit, & republish them (also expensive). It’s generally better to wait until you’re sure you’ve produced a good story with good plot, good characters, good message, and good writing and good editing and good formatting and designing. I know, I know—you think that NOW. And maybe you do have a good book with a good plot and good characters and good message and good writing, and can get a good editor and formatter and designer. If so, more power to your elbow. But it usually takes maturity and experience to produce good books. I know—yes, it’s true, empathy and feeling counts for a lot. Yes! BUT the fact remains that it still takes some level of maturity, understanding, and experience in at least something to produce a good book.

Which leads me to Number Two: Don’t Rush the Writing Process. The truth is… unless you’re an extraordinary writer, your first draft is gonna need help. And even if you are an extraordinary writer, it will at least need polishing and editing. But the safer side to err on (unless you have very good proof that you are an extraordinary writer) is the side that your first draft will probably need more or less major overhauling. That’s what first drafts are for. Just to get the basic story on paper so you can build it and decorate it and make it even more epic. And everyone does this. There’s no shame in it. At all. Nada. Zilch. So take time to overhaul your first draft. Get betas. Get an editor. Get critics. You need them, I promise, no matter how bad it hurts. Because your book needs sunshine and rain to grow it. Just like any flower. Don’t rush the writing process. Take your time to do it right and thoroughly. Take time to research and figure things out.

3) It’s okay not to publish before twenty. You are not less because you have published as a teen. Most great authors produced their masterpieces at a later season in life. Most of them found their early work embarrassing and most of their early work isn’t as good. The truth simply is that time is a great maturer for everyone and everything. So take your time. You have time. Keep working at this. Study the period you’re writing to make sure you’re representing it accurately. Study the countries you’re talking of for the same reason. Dig deep. Research, research, research. Check into books and podcasts and history and people and everything. Keep studying the craft of writing. Take classes, read books, read blogs, study grammar and punctuation and style. Read good, great books and study how they’re written. Read a lot, read widely, and read well. Read books that stretch your mind and your comfort zone. Keep reading your Bible. Keep growing as a Christian. Keep praying that God would give you wisdom. Keep asking for His guidance. Keep surrendering your work and your dreams to Him. Keep writing. Write, write, write, write, write. Write even if it’s trash. Write even if you don’t feel like it. Write even if no one seems to notice. Just keep writing. Keep practicing. Check out different styles and genres and methods. Expand your horizons. Get a support group. And don’t rush (into) anything. That way, you can be sure you won’t be making a move you’ll regret later, and produce your best. 

Not publishing after you’re sixteen and before you’re eighteen doesn’t make you a failure. So don’t let people make it sound that way. Don’t let anyone pressure you into thinking you NEED to publish because you’re an author. You don’t. It’s no shame to wait and continue to grow and become better in your craft. It’s usually wiser and better in the long run. Take your time and let yourself and your writing mature. If you’re ready to publish, then go for it, and I am so excited for you! But be sure that you are ready. And that it’s God’s will. And know that there’s nothing wrong at all with waiting. Waiting generally produces the best results. And doing what God wants is what’s most important, and, ultimately, what you want to do… isn’t it? So seek the Lord and see what He says about everything before you make any decision, and seek the advice of your parents/mentor figures, experienced writers, and those who know your writing… and see what the best thing for you is. And by the way, you’re just as much a writer, even if nothing is published. It’s still a part of you even if it never becomes official. You’re still one of God’s storytellers. Just remember the writing doesn’t define you or decide your worth.

Those are amazing tips Katja! They are also very encouraging for an older author who hasn’t been able to get to the publishing stage. Im so very thankful that there are people like you out there who remind us that it is ok!

As promised, the links to her sites are down below, and stay tuned for part two!

Links:

https://littleblossomsforjesus.wordpress.com (blog)

My Bookstagram :https://www.instagram.com/oldfashionedbooklove/
My Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/118578359-katja-labont
My Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.ca/OldFashionedBookLove/_saved/

https://littleblossomsforjesus.wordpress.com/free-books/ (Download my books) 

2 thoughts on “Tips by Katja- part one

  1. Ah, these are amazing tips! Thank you so much for them. 🙂

    Like

  2. Thank you so much for featuring me, girl!! ❤ I’m so glad you found these tips helpful 🙂

    Like

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