I get a lot of questions about writing and how I go about it and to be perfectly honest I am far from a pro (if you didn’t already put that together). That said, I feel I have a fair amount of advice to give for whatever it is worth. So here is my typical answer for those curious.
To begin with I usually tell people to keep it simple. I’ve read a lot of things for people that was way complex way early and as a reading it makes it difficult to stay with the story. Some of the best stories ever written were simple. Don’t over think it and don’t create something so complex for your first story that it takes you an hour to explain it to me. If you find yourself telling people “it’s complicated” then you need to simplify. It will help you accomplish your goal to complete a story and make it much more palatable to the reader.
Secondly, learn the story arch and use it to map out your story. The story arch is simple and also fantastic. Stories need a beginning, middle and end. Conflict drives stories. Make sure you include the necessary elements in a story to make is successful. Readers need you to stick to their expectations in order for them to enjoy the story. I’m sure you’ve come up with a much better way to write a story but guess what? No one will get it; especially for your first story. So learn the story arch and stick with it.
Thirdly, show don’t tell. I know everyone who has ever been in junior English in High School has already heard this but it is really important. It’s also really difficult to maintain for an entire novel length story. It took me many years of practice but at this point it is pretty much second nature. As a write mastering the art of describing scenes and actions rather than simply telling the reader about them is absolutely necessary. For me, the most difficult was describing emotions rather than merely stating what the characters were feeling. I spent a lot of time thinking about what we look like and how we act when we feel angry, joyful, sad etc. I’m a much better writer for it though.
Writing is amazing but also frustrating. I haven’t mastered it in the least but I love it enough to continue doing it regardless of how well received my writing is. I hope these tips help anyone trying to master it along with me. Cheers.