I think a writer has to be two things from the get-go – a lover of stories, and someone who is committed to working hard. I was the kind of girl when I was young who would pedal her bike to the library and spend the entire day reading. I loved stories and getting lost inside another world. As I turned my sights toward writing, I looked at the kind of books I read, and tried to figure out why they worked, or didn’t work, and my favorite part about them.
Then, I began to write. And this is the hard work part. I wrote and wrote – for myself, for any publication that would print my work; I wrote letters and journals and devotionals and eventually wrote for magazines. I looked for contests, and open doors into publishing, made friends with other writers, who connected me to publishers, (kept writing – now novel size books) and finally found a publisher who was willing to take a chance on me.
Read the kind of books you want to write and learn to dissect them.
- – What works and what doesn’t?
- – What do you like/dislike about the hero/heroine?
- – What is the pacing of the plot?
- – How does the author evoke your emotions?
Read CRAFT books – like Donald Maas, and James Frey, and Sol Stein. Apply their exercises to your work.
Join a critique group who will give you honest feedback and help you grow. Also, join an online group like ACFW for support and to increase your industry knowledge.
Go to writer’s conferences. Soak up the information there.
WRITE. And submit, and keep writing.
Trust that God has a plan, and don’t give up.
I really wish I’d started writing novels when I was 22!! But it took me until my middle thirties to figure out that was what I wanted to do…so, go for it, and God bless you on the journey!