Recently, I was blessed enough to attend an author event at the University of Florida and the guest of honor was one of my favorite authors. I don’t go all “fan girl” too often, but that night I did. It was such and honor to meet James Patterson and listen to him be interviewed by another great writer, Michael Connelly.
I learned some things I’d like to share. Most of these ideas are things most writers know and put into practice, but somehow hearing it from a man who has had 82 #1 best sellers made it seem more real to me.
- Outlining is important. It keeps you on track and prevents you from wasting valuable time writing yourself into a corner.
- Write EVERY DAY!
- James and I share the philosophy that if you write it, and make it interesting and relevant enough, kids will read it. We are all about encouraging young people to read.
- Keep track of all your ideas somewhere close and visit them frequently – you never know when something will spring forth and be that prize winning novel you’ve always dreamed about
- You can be successful as a multi-genre author
- Write at least three drafts before calling it done – Michael Connelly even does more than three on some of his books
- Readers have different opinions and you can’t please them all, but if you learn and develop your craft well enough to write a good story, you’ll please a lot of them
- Never stop learning about the craft of writing – set aside time to take a course, research a writing concept, read a book on writing – anything to continue to grow as a writer
- Try something new. Stretch your writing muscle in a different direction, through a new genre or character perspective
- Authors need to know their audience and market to them – With James Patterson’s background in advertising, I found this very valuable. Learn the characteristics, demographics, likes and dislikes of the readers that read a particular genre
I could go on, but I think ten tips is enough for today. I’m still mulling over a lot of the things I learned. A special thank you to my son for inviting me on this incredible journey. Check this one off the bucket list!