It starts off with a book, an adventure, and then as a young person you want to read more and more adventures, be it Harry Potter or any other kind of fantasy, sci-fi, young-adult, urban and so on. But for many young people, and older folk for that matter, reading doesn’t turn into writing and the inspiration just doesn’t come. However, new young writers, inspired by the success of the Harry Potter stories are now turning to write their own original works based on their own imaginations and experiences -and make a stash money in the process! Cassandra Clare’s City of Glass for example is selling like hot cakes.
So where and how does one start to write like the professionals?
New and emerging writers are blooming but there are many who simply don’t know where to start when it comes to writing the perfect novel. How does one do it? As J.K. Rowling said, “The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and your vocabulary will improve – and it’s a lot of fun! Stick to writing about things you know – your own experiences, your own feelings; that’s what I do – and never give up!”
Write from your imagination, but write well
Importantly, however, it’s not just a cool imagination that brings a story to fruition, but basic essentials of spelling, pronunciation and good grammar. I know this may sound boring, but a publisher may find it hard to sense the great imagination in the story if encountering bad sentence structure, fragmented plots and unbelievable characters.
It’s a time-consuming task; delving through endless ‘How to Write’ books just to learn the basics on how to write great fiction. There are a lot of these books out there, fat, intellectual and muddy -enough to bog you down before you get off to a good writing start.
Don’t get bogged down in ‘right writing’
I’ve flicked through a few ‘How to Write Great Fiction’ books recently in my quest to write a better novel yet I got stuck in the terminology – stuff I really didn’t need to know as a new-born writer; such as ‘diphthong’, ‘intransitive’, ‘preposition’, ‘subjunctive’ and so on. Sure, many know these terms but the understanding of each could be a lengthy paper in
themselves. It’s enough to stifle, even kill off, a young fertile imagination – or a mature aspiring writer for that matter.
Keep it simple
Simplicity and the essentials is called for but hard to find. Some guides, like Harry Potter Writer, provide compact essential information to help break a new writer into the joys of writing for any genre, with lots of fun thrown in – that’s what it’s about. Even older writers like myself can appreciate the essentials that serve to inspire me to better writing, without the guff that strangles a good imagination. Guides like this, designed for any kind of fiction, not just Harry Potter fan fiction writers, are few and far between.
It took me a long time to realize that some simple good writing skills, aimed at the young and old alike, go well with a fertile imagination and balances out a novel to come across as a natural piece of writing, not an awkward attempt at being correct to satisfy the literary stalwarts in the critics’ arena. If you want to write fresh and write right, look how the new generation of writers are doing it but most importantly, be honest with yourself and your heart and read like there’s no sodding tomorrow. Your heart will unleash your own imagination and with a simple guidance your next story could well be your next big money-earner.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karin Gottschalk is a highly regarded copywriter, author, photographer and literary agent who promotes the works of ghost writers and artists. She is also the creative force behind Black & White Magazine and writer for the recent film festival documentary ‘My Asian Heart’. She has been involved with many in the creative field, helping them achieve their dreams. Her life at school was filled with ‘grammatical bullying’ – as she would put it – stuffy teachers stifling young imaginations. Her teachers knew nothing of how to instill the hidden imagination in all of us to create believable worlds and the characters to populate them. She is grateful now for the information available to young writers that she never had as a child.