Everything you learned in school and know about writing is wrong. Adverbs are bad verbs. The writing world is different than the educational writing world.
Learning to write well is like learning a new language. There are many rules and guidelines that schools teach you, but in reality there’s no right or wrong way of doing things when it comes down just writing creatively for your own personal satisfaction – at least not until we get into the nitty-gritties: adverbs versus verbs; passive voice over active suddenly becomes important (hint hint); how long should sentences be? What kind?? Umm.. anyways
In Episode 7 of the Serious Writer Podcast Bethany Jett and Cyle Young discuss why everything you know about writing is wrong and what you can do to change it:
Go to a writers conference. Now.
Read in your genre and subgenre. Learn the style of that genre.
Get the resources you need from the beginning. (Emotions thesaurus & Story Trumps Structure)
TIP: The 1st book might not be published.
You can practice into publish later.
Fear: I won’t have another story after this one.
Tip: Learn the rules first before you break them.
Modern story is based on 3-act structure. Act 1 is short. Act 2 is rising action over the middle and it’s longer; character development. Climax. Act 3 is descending action.
Fantasy: Hero’s Journey of the 3-Act Structure.
04. Know how to structure a story.
05. Set a regular writing time period or a daily word count. Earnest Hemingway – writes 500 words a day. Stephen King writes 2000 words a day. Jack London – 1500. Mark Twain – 1400. Michael Crighton – 10,000 words – Jurassic Park. Suggestion – start lower until you’re consistent.
06. Just write and don’t edit.
07. Write in scene, not sequence. The Tik Tok guide to writing a book.
If you’re struggling to figure how to find content out or what kind of material your audience is consuming and engaging with, find a “mentor influencer,” that is, someone who’s killing it in your field.
Check out their website and look for these things:
Keywords. Look at blog post titles and opt-ins.
Giveaways. What are they giving away as a free opt-in for their newsletter?
Social Media. What platforms are they the most active on?
You’re not looking for content to copy, but instead, you’re looking for the formula or outline. The goal is to research the topics and method that your competition is sharing and how their audience is responding to them.
To be clear, do not steal other people’s work! The purpose of this research is to look for keywords and common topics. Add your unique experience, insights, and voice to the discussion. No plagiarism allowed!
As an example, Bethany Jett l-o-v-e-s planners. So if she’s going to create a blog post or giveaway for her audience, she might scope out some of the bigger players in the planner space.
During that research, she would find that people are asking questions about the different types of planner layouts to use when getting started. Therefore, a smart blog post for her would be How to Choose Your Best Planner Layout, along with a downloadable PDF handout to collect emails.
Then, Bethany can share a post on her social media platforms about different planner layouts. And if she was intent on getting the most from her marketing efforts, she would film a video to put on YouTube.
Basically, you don’t need to recreate the wheel. If the movers and shakers in your genre are sharing Monday Motivation tips on Tik Tok, by golly, you might want to start doing that, too!
At Serious Writer, we want you to work smarter, not harder. We want you to save time and get a high return on your investment.
Find the winners. Determine the formula. Go create!
“The ones that work the hardest and hustle the most get the book deals.” – Cyle Young
“If someone tells you that you need platform, they’re just eliminating their competition.” — Bethany Jett
“…net of minutia…” – Cyle Young
“You don’t get a pass for being new.” — Bethany Jett
“An erratic writing life produces erratic results. A consistent writing life produces consistent results.” — Cyle Young
LINK: Bethany quoted Seth Godin as building the platform “three years” ago. Here’s the actual quote we need to share: “The best time to start that was seven years ago. The second best time is right now. So start!” – Seth Godin Reference link: https://writetodone.com/seth-godin-part-2/
1:26 10 Tips for children’s writing 1:42 Moral Dilemma 2:58 Entertainment 4:45 Hangout with kids (know your audience) 10:39 Short and Sweet 12:06 The mentor influencer research method 15:05 Social media and research 22:09 Fiction Writing Tips 23:29 Don’t start with “weather” 25:16 Prologues 32:21 NO Exclamation Points!!!!! (except for Bethany’s exception!) 35:55 Don’t use Dialects 38:15 Conclusion, Second Annual Intensive, and Contest Details