Getting started: 5 tips for becoming a stellar contemporary writer

People often see writing as one of those creative processes you can either do or you can’t. But, with all creative processes, you can learn your craft and develop a whole suite of literary skills.

Sure, writing the next Ulysses or Jane Eyre might be a while away for beginners, but there are certain things you can do when starting out that will make the journey to becoming a writer seem much easier.

All contemporary fiction authors have that certain creative spark, but it needs to be facilitated by ongoing literary development.

This can be done with the following tips:

  1. Read & develop your vocabulary

 There is nothing like an amazing book to help you expand your vocabulary. Chances are if you’re looking to become a fiction author you probably enjoy reading yourself, and although having an expansive vocab isn’t everything when it comes to great writing, it’s always good to have extra words in your arsenal for when you want to really describe that shining moment or enthralling climax.

So, read some new books; re-read your favourites – they will open up a world of words that can be easily added to your literary repertoire.

  1. Find your niche

 There must have been some spark that made you want to start writing in the first place. Some idea that you made you say, “yes! That would be an amazing story, and I know that if I gave writing a chance I could bring it to life!”

Therefore, you need to follow that idea, find your niche and make it yours. Many of history’s greatest authors have stuck to particular genres (and the same characters) over the course of their careers, so if you know you have that next Harry Potter or Alex Cross series that you want to bring to life – work on it!

You’ll be surprised at how much your passion for the idea drives your sense of creativity.

  1. Learn about your subjects

 Say you want to write a contemporary fiction novel based on a current event. It is vital, therefore, that you understand the situation and can fully elaborate on those situations to make a great story.

Anyone who has ever tried to write a story about something they haven’t properly researched and planned will tell you the same thing: you end up nothing but confused.

So, be sure to research, understand and plan out your story before making a start – things can get confusing quickly if you don’t know your subject.

  1. Never stop writing!

 Sure, writing is something that comes naturally to many people, but it is also something that needs constant development and practise so that you a; develop your craft, and b; don’t lose said developed craft.

Writers are constantly writing because they are always hungry for new ideas, new techniques, new ways to subvert the reader’s perception of what is happening and what is going to happen.

This is a skill that can’t be jumped in and out of – to pick it up every six months or so is like starting back in grade one.

  1. Love what you do even if it hurts

 No one said writing was easy, and everyone says writing novels is hard. This is true, but the satisfaction one gets from completing their first novel, whether picked up or not, is a joyous reward that can’t be taken away from you.
Love the craft, after all, it’s fun! Don’t let writer’s block get you down and take your time to think up that next great passage instead of trying to power through with something you’re not happy about.

It’s all part of the process of becoming a great contemporary fiction writer.

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