10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer by Author E. N. Joy
1) Do not follow trends when deciding what to write about. Write about what flows through your spirt, something that moves you, something that you are passionate about, and most importantly, something you would want to read.
2) When you begin your outline/first draft, don’t worry about getting it right as much as getting it written. Allow the words to just come forth and don’t stifle them with concerns about whether you should use a comma or semicolon.
3) Don’t make excuses about not having time to write. If you don’t have time to write, then nobody has time to read what you are trying to put out there.
4) Don’t just hire an editor, work with and learn from your editor. Make note of the constant mistakes they are correcting, and if you don’t know why they are changing certain things, ask.
5) Discipline yourself to write every day; even if it’s just a paragraph or a page. Keep your story and your characters in your spirit. If you take a break from them, you’ll have to get to know them and their story all over again. You’ll be so busy running back to the drawing board in order to reacquaint yourself, that your story may lose its momentum.
6) As you write, keep notes in a notebook about your story. Each character should have their own page describing them and listing certain things about them. Keeping notes will also help you to maintain a timeline…over what period of time the story is taking place. More importantly, keeping notes prevents contradictions throughout the story when you have something you can go back and reference.
7) Take a break from writing when you are at a highpoint in your story, that way you’ll be just as eager to get back to writing as your reader will be to read it. That excitement to write will show in your work.
8) Go beyond showing and not simply telling by adding the five senses into a story. What do the characters see? What emotions are triggered when they see certain things? How does something feel when they touch it? How does something smell (a person, old room, attic, kitchen, etc.)? What does something taste like? If the character could taste a smell, allow the reader to imagine what the smell would taste like. What sounds do the characters hear and what do those sounds evoke? Readers definitely want to hear the characters speak with rich dialogue. What is the character’s tone when talking? And remember, sometimes characters may say one thing while feeling another, so allow the readers to be privy to that as well. You can even go beyond the five senses and allow your characters to use body language and facial expressions. Talk about bringing your characters to life!
9) Don’t try to be Dr. Frasier Crane from the sitcom, Frasier, when writing. Nobody wants to stop reading to have to go pick up a dictionary to figure out what the heck you are talking about. Use everyday words and conversations. Use real words that the real people who are in your audience will use and understand.
10) As a rule of thumb authors tend to write what they know. Have some fun and write something you don’t know by engaging in some research that might include a vacation.
About The Book
What does crazy look like? Let Deborah tell it, it's the reflection that looks back at her in the mirror. She has a career she loves, two beautiful children and a handsome and successful husband. Her life seems to be the blueprint almost every woman she knows would kill to live. But working full-time, being a full-time mother, full-time wife and a full-time only Christian seems to be taking its toll on her. With all the scheming and shenanigans Deborah orchestrated to get this lifestyle, she might have to come up with a whole set of new ones to maintain it.
Lynox is Deborah's husband who she thanks God for putting back into her life after a game of cat and mouse that defies the laws of romance. He feels that all Deborah needs is to let her hair down, maybe make some new friends and live a little. When Deborah agrees and then suspects Lynox of having an affair with the woman that he suggested she form a friendship with, will he live to regret his own advice?
About The Author
BLESSED selling Author E. N. Joy is the author behind the “New Day Divas,” “Still Divas,” “Always Divas” and “Forever Divas" series, all which have been coined “Soap Operas in Print.” She is an Essence Magazine Bestselling Author who wrote secular books under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY. Her title, If I Ruled the World, earned her a book blurb from Grammy Award Winning Artist, Erykah Badu. An All Night Man, an anthology she penned with New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson, earned the Borders bestselling African American romance award. Her Urban Fiction title, Dollar Bill (Triple Crown Publications), appeared in Newsweek and has been translated to Japanese.
After thirteen years of being a paralegal in the insurance industry, E. N. Joy divorced her career and married her mistress and her passion; writing. In 2000, she formed her own publishing company where she published her books until landing a book deal with St. Martin's Press. This award winning author has been sharing her literary expertise on conference panels in her home town of Columbus, Ohio as well as cities across the country. She also conducts publishing/writing workshops for aspiring writers.
Her children’s book titled The Secret Olivia Told Me, written under the name N. Joy, received a Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. The book was also acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies. Elementary and middle school children have fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of the readings and workshops E. N. Joy instructs in schools nationwide.
In addition, she is the artistic developer for a young girl group named DJHK Gurls. She pens original songs, drama skits and monologues for the group that deal with messages that affect today’s youth, such as bullying.
After being the first content development editor for Triple Crown Publications and ten years as the acquisitions editor for Carl Weber's Urban Christian imprint, E. N. Joy now does freelance editing, ghostwriting, write-behinds and literary consulting. Her clients have included New York Times Bestselling authors, entertainers, aspiring authors, as well as first-time authors. Some notable literary consulting clients include actor Christian Keyes, singer Olivia Longott and Reality Television star Shereé M. Whitfield.