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  • Writer's pictureAmy Quick Parrish

8 Tips for the Budding Novelist

  1. Read every day. The best writers learn from what they read. Read everything from poetry to genre fiction to award-winning writers and everything in between.

  2. Write every day. Whether it's creating character bios, creating an outline or writing actual pages all of these activities keep your brain on track and keep your story moving forward.

  3. Don't lock yourself into a particular style or genre. You might think you're a young adult romance writer, but maybe you'll find your strength is paranormal or sweet Christmas or paranormal Christmas! Don't be afraid to mix it up.

  4. Learn about marketing. Most writers think their work is done when they write the last word of the last chapter, but even a traditionally published novelist needs to be able to sell themselves either via a query letter to an agent, or to potential readers at a book fair or reading. Learning the basics of marketing will only help you.

  5. Learn graphic design. Again, even traditionally published novelists will probably want to occasionally promote their work on Instagram, or will want to create a flyer for a reading or even a business card. You can create them yourself with apps like Canva, but you need to know a little about graphic design to do it well.

  6. Consider joining a writing group. Whether you meet once a month or every week, this is a great way to meet like-minded people and get valuable feedback - not to mention a regular deadline.

  7. Take writing classes. Whether they're in person via your local college or online via UCLA Extension, there are a lot of great classes and we're all always learning.

  8. Pro-tip from Ernest Hemingway: When it's time to stop writing for the day, consider stopping in mid-sentence or mid-paragraph. That way when you come back the next day you'll know exactly where you were and you won't waste time trying to get started.

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