Eight Tips for New Writers…of any age

This post is dedicated to a young gentleman named Noah (10 years old), who is writing a science fiction story about the future of mankind. His father, an avid reader and fan of my books, asked if I had any tips for his son. I decided to compile a short list of advice that might inspire and guide a young writer, realizing halfway through— that this is the same basic advice I would give to a new writer of any age. Good luck, Noah, and all of the new writers out there! 1. Eat lots of vegetables and don’t talk to strangers…sorry kids, a few parents paid me to put this here! By the way, this advice applies to adults more than children. 2. Keep a notebook for ideas and spontaneous writing.  If an idea or scenario strikes, starting writing—even if you have no idea where this story will go. If the story doesn’t progress beyond a page of notebook scribbles—no worries—it might be the seed of a great story later. As a writer, the junk drawer doesn’t exist.  3. Write every day. Just a little. OR a lot! If you don’t feel like writing “in a story,” create a character, or

Find a Niche, and Expand It

In today’s fiction market, you either need a sizable backlist, a ready-to-go fan base, or a traditional publishing deal to come out of the gate bursting with sales. Your Twitter following of 800 other authors doesn’t count as a launching pad, either. The most common problem for new authors, is the search for readership. Unless you’re writing to fill your own bookshelf, you share the same dilemma. I know…we all have an incredibly interesting, unique novel, ready to unleash upon the unsuspecting world…but so does every other writer reading this essay. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! The key term here, is “unsuspecting world.” I’m fairly confident the world will push onward in blissful ignorance of your book, if you don’t find a way to start a small fire. You need to find a niche, and expand it. I’ll be blunt with my story. I published The Jakarta Pandemic in October of 2010, and had no clue what to do with it. I was just glad to have finished it. Three years of disorganized part time writing, and now what? I had no marketing plan…or concept. I had started research into the traditional publishing world, but quickly