As 2014 draws to a close, like many people I begin to think about what I’d like to change for the upcoming New Year. Many people tend to think about ways to be better parents, spend more time with our families or how to improve our incomes.
But how many of us consider what we’d like to do to improve our businesses?
Let’s face it, writing is a business. And while like almost everyone else, writers would love to increase their paychecks, we offer something more. People read our stories (in the case of fiction writers) or our how-to books (in the non-ficiton group) because they are searching for something themselves.
Maybe they’re trying to find that great new marketing breakthrough that is going to skyrocket them from obscurity to a prime management position at the office. Or perhaps they’re just looking for a few hours away from reality so they can recharge their mental batteries. In either case, the responsibility of providing the correct prescription falls to the writer.
So as I look at the upcoming New Year, I decided to list my top 5 writing goals for 2015 to help me improve my craft of writing fiction.
In reverse order, here we go……
5. Write Better Copy – In order for us to get our work to the right people, we have to let them know that it exist and we have to make it sound interesting. This falls under the heading of copywriting. As fiction writers, we can concentrate on making our book’s blurbs pop. We can do this using action verbs, special character formatting and more intense headlines. Better copy means better sales.
4. Write More Short Stories – As a story teller, I know that my craft will only get better with practice. Short stories have the benefits of not being as labor intensive as writing a novel, but at the same time requiring all of the same skills to tell. It’s the equivalent of the distance runner practicing sprints.
3. Use Dialogue More Effectively – Too often writers use dialogue to fill space when it can be used to effectively give background, set moods, introduce ideas or to relay thoughts. There is a point where we as writers don’t want to overdo, but we can make efforts to use what we have to the best.
2. Create More Conflict/ Romance/ Suspense – This is the engine that drives our stories. The more that we put into that story, the faster it moves, the more the reader is pulled in and better the story is overall. Be careful not to get too over-dramatic. keep the situations in the believable realm unless you’re writing Science Fiction.
1. Make Your Characters More Memorable – Think about the books that you re-read. What is it that pulled you into the story? Was it the plot or the theme? Most likely it was the way that you related to the main character. If a writer develops a character that seems real, the reader becomes invested in that character’s well being.
So there we have it. My top 5 writing goals for 2015. What goals have you set for yourself and your writing for the New Year?