You need to register here. You need to read the newbie’s guide and you need to ask questions, answer them if you can, read other writers’ work, and talk about whatever books, films, TV shows and current issues are floating your boat. I joined about five years ago and within around six months, the quality of my writing had improved approximately ninety seven bajillion per cent. It’s a great crowd who will welcome you, guide you and who genuinely want you to succeed.
A lot. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Read the classics even if they seem dated. They’re classics for a reason. Read contemporary best sellers to see what writers who might be in the same area as you are doing although don’t read them with the idea of copying them. You’ll probably end writing a crappy rip off and by the time your book gets to an agent or publisher, they won’t be looking for a copy of what’s big right now.
Read genres you’re not that interested in. Read as widely as you can. Read books by people you’ve never heard of. I guarantee it’s a great way of discovering a new talent. If you want to improve your writing, you need to read. If you want to be entertained by limitless imagination and meet people who might stay with you for the rest of your life, you need to read.
This sounds even more simple than reading, doesn’t it? Anyone can talk about writing. Anyone can tell their mates they’re going to write the next big thing if only they had the time. They’re not writers. If you want to call yourself a writer, you put in the hours and the effort to write a book. Then you put in the effort to edit that book, to rewrite it until it’s as good as you can make it. If all this means you have to sacrifice your time on Facebook or watching TV or planning what you’ll do with that massive advance from the publishers when your book is written, then that’s what you sacrifice. Writing is sometimes a pain in the arse. You’ll sometimes not want to sit in front of that computer and type out another line of your poxy story that you’re sick of. But you will. If you’re a writer. And when that book is done, you’ll understand why these supposed sacrifices were worth it.