• RJ Grand

After Writing My First Two Books,I Knew I Needed To Learn How To Write For Traditional Publishers To

winning a writing contest at my local library awarded me a prize for a free writing class worth $350. I was ecstatic! I grew up in an environment of word addiction, over using words, using additional words, and using vague words as if you could read minds. Later in life, I wrote my first two books which readers insist I shouldn't change a thing. However, my reader base numbers told me another story. I was clueless about what I needed to do to get more readers. But I knew whoever taught writing knowing what traditional publishers look for in books, I'd solve my issues, if I was good at it.

Overusing words was due to the belief it would emphasis your talking points, however it actually reduces their meaning in the professional world. And words we didn't use would easily replace a whole bunch of (dragged out) words to complete a more concise sentence.

In class I'd learn to cut these words out. Some of them are "very," "that," "started" "Just"... I also learned to look at a sentence where something is repeated. Example : "I hadn't heard from Tony all day. He called me on my phone." I don't need to write "on my phone" because the reader is going to know that when I type "He called me." Making sure actions were in chronological order. Not having two actions happen at the same time. "When I drank the water, I choked." They can't happen at the same time. I've learned that, "I drank the water AND choked." (One action followed by another).

When I started taking writing classes over a year ago, it was brought to my attention that I have a point-of-view issue. This was brought up by Stephanie, my first writing instructor. I was grateful to get direction from her on how to write better. I went back and smoothed the spots we'd discussed, excited to give readers an even more polished story. I write in third person point of view, omniscient. I hadn't heard about this form of writing "head popping" before Stephanie mentioned it. It really should be head pooping because it makes it hard for readers to keep up with the "sh.." an author writes.The narrator is outside of the story and relating the experiences of a character. The story is still about “he” or “she,” but the narrator has full access to the thoughts and experiences of all characters in the story and pops from character to character.

I'm told that this complex way of writing confuses a lot of readers and that it was a surprise to see that I am capable of being in every characters head. I can't wrap my head around first person and I, so I'm going to have to get used to writing in limited form.

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