Writing tips you will love...update
Many moons ago I took a series of adult education classes at Marquette University in Milwaukee, taught by Professor Lee Riordan, that jump started my writing career. Recently, I reread some notebooks from those classes filled with advice for writers.
Here are some valuable words of wisdom from Professor Riordan;
Talent is a gift. Use it -- there is a duty to use it. Press on. Nothing can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not. There is nothing more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Persistence and Determination are Omnipotent. A good story is not written, it is rewritten. The single most important thing for the writer is to write, the second is to rewrite.
The writer has the ability to listen, to look, to daydream and has a special awareness of smell, taste and sound. A writer must discipline him/herself. Sit yourself down on that chair and do it. Do not wait for inspiration. Writing classes force a beginner to discipline himself or herself.
Keep a notebook handy. Jot down descriptions, impressions of people. Do practice writing. Take inventory. What do you want to write? We all grow up in the midst of particular messages, undercurrents, rooms, streets, meals, voices, a touch of the place. The writer must recognize experiences that have impact. Write about things you know. Eventually you can write about things you don't know. Most importantly don't wait for inspiration. Set goals -- perhaps to write a page or two a day.
Work hard on that opening sentence. It should be so compelling that the reader cannot put down what you have written. The last sentence of your paragraphs should lead the reader forward. Remember what your characters look like is important, but not nearly as important as what they say and do.
*********And finally -- proofread you your work before sending it out. I made that mistake yesterday when I sent this out before it was proofread.