Hello community reader,
Welcome to our ‘Everything You Need to Know to Be a Successful Author’ Blog. In this article, we’ll finish up our last segment. The much-anticipated part 3 hath arrived! So what habits should you commit to doing right if you wanted to make it in today’s book publishing industry? They're all below.
If you haven’t read the second part of this segment, then click this link here: 9 Simple Habits to be the Perfect Writer (Part 2).
Too busy reading this article? No problem. We’ll just dive in and bring you up to speed. In our second segment, we discussed 3 additional valuable habits.
The fourth habit you should start considering right now is the practice of freestyle writing. You write for long periods of time without stopping to edit a single word. The goal here is to put down as many ideas on paper as you can.
The beauty of this is it may seem like you’re churning out words willy-nilly, but that’s far from true. In reality you’re developing muscle memory and teaching yourself impromptu speaking.
The fifth most valuable habit is never being afraid to rewrite. In essence you’re fine tuning your story. You’re removing all the unnecessary holes scattered throughout the plot and making your plot even better than it was the last time.
This is surprisingly a burden to many aspiring authors.
They would think rewriting is a drag on your time and creativity. Instead, it is the act of cleaning up the trash.
Our sixth most valuable tip is: Find an Editor. A Really, Really Good Editor.
Editors don’t come cheap. Really good editors with rave reviews might charge an arm and a leg. But it doesn’t have to be an expensive hunt.
Ask your colleague. Run your work through friends and family. And make sure you always get a third pair of eyes.
7. K.I.S.S M.Y A.S.S
(Keep It Simple Stupid, or Make Yourself Act Stupid Spontaneously)
The original acronym is K.I.S.S. It has nothing to do with romance.
Great advice. You must’ve heard it sometime in your life. Most likely in school. At Alpha Book Publisher, we’ve decided to take it a step further and add our own twist to the Kiss Principle. With a little addition to the acronym, we now call it the Kiss My Ass principle. Believe it or not, as a writer we all have to follow this principle. Bad news for the underdeveloped, adult writer.
The worse off you are at writing, the more a.s.s you’re kissing.
Don’t get mad at me. It’s true!
Okay now let’s get serious.
The K.I.S.S Principle, now adopted by Alpha Book Publisher as the “K.I.S.S M.Y A.S.S Principle “states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. The phrase has been associated with aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson.”
And who is this Kelly Johnson?
You’d be wrong if you said he was a writer.
Rather, Kelly Johnson was an aeronautical engineer whose contributions to various aircraft designs played a key role in World War 2.
And you can see why he would be in a position to come up with this phrase. To the outside observer, massive jetliners look like intricate beasts of mechanical complexity. And while that may be true, the design itself may look like a Spongebob illustration. That’s how Boeing was able to produce 806 commercial passenger jets in 2018 alone. That’s nearly 3 monstrosities a day.
The Kiss My Ass Principle is not without its fans.
Leonardo Da Vinci puts it this way: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Shakespeare have said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
And the following quote has been attributed to Albert Einstein: “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
How do you know whether or not you’re adhering to the Kiss My Ass Principle? Just follow the few simple rules below and you’ll be fine.
Don’t write to impress. Instead, you should write to inform.
Enough with the big words. While you can use it strategically here and there, let’s face it. Most readers aren’t professors.
Think of writing like a conversation. You wouldn’t use unnecessarily big words when you’re out with friends, right?
Repeating yourself in a story line is not a bad thing. Just don’t overdo it. Your readers aren’t third graders. I’m sure enough of them are smarter than a 5th grader. Probably.
If you’re able to do more than half the checklist above, you’re on the better side of the Kiss My Ass Principle.
8. Write in Different Genres
So before we get started into talking about different genres and the benefits of exploring them, do you know how many genres are there?
Two? Seven? Twenty nine?
Okay, maybe I’m not being specific here. There are a few different types of genres: Academic genres, professional genres, literary genres and a few others you don’t need to learn about unless you were a descendant of Albert Einstein.
For the sake of simplicity, today we’re going to focus on the one classification that really matters. The one type of genre that we care most about: literary genre. Officially, there are 9 major literary genres.
And then there’s horror.
Let’s not forget about romance.
And fantasy novels.
Oh the satire! Yes this is a genre in and of itself too.
And then there’s comedy.
Followed by its evil step brother, mister tragedy.
Let’s not forget about non-fiction.
And its lying counterpart, fiction.
What about Thriller? And no, I’m not talking about Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
And finally, realism.
Confused yet? Okay. Here’s the list below.
One of the many effective ways of improving your writing ability is by genre-hopping. You might not like the opposite genre. That’s because you probably never tested the waters before. Now then. Let’s briefly get to each genre and why your readers will love you forever when you write in them.
1. Drama is unique in that it is the only genre embedded in every other genre there is. Without the basic skills to convey action, you’re not really a writer. It’s an easy genre to delve into. Even first graders do it well. Wanna make something interesting? Make it dramatic.
2. Horror. “Oh no! Before I could finish this sentence an arm just muscled through my laptop in a frenzy. Its half broken hands grabbed hold of my hair. Before I could let out a scream, blood splattered everywhere.” If you’re good at talking about death, zombies and the meat factory you will have many fans for your book.
3. Romance. Never underestimate the power of love. That’s romance novels in a nutshell. How popular is this genre? Romance novels are the best-selling segment of the paperback fiction market in the United States. Turns out, you don’t need videos to arouse your dopamine. Wink :)
4. Fantasy. A branch of fiction, fantasy is for the adventurer. That may be why fantasy books are so long. And magic is the common element used in them. According to Forbes, fantasy book sales have doubled since 2010 - a testament to their growing popularity.
5. Satire. Who doesn’t like humor, exaggeration and irony? Its usage in politics is fast overtaking its consumption in any other topic. This genre gets along pretty well with freestyle writing. While satire brings laughter, it is not without its critics. If you were to explore this topic, you would quickly gain passionate followers. And haters.
Not a bad gig if you want to make a name for yourself.
6. Comedy. Unlike satire, comedy does not aim to expose the follies of society. It exists only to induce laughter and for no other purpose. Comedy usually has a cheerful ending. If you can excel in making people laugh, you’re as good a writer can get. And if you haven’t tried this genre yet, you’re missing out on valuable improvements in your ability to tell a great story.
7. Tragedy, a branch of drama where the main character is suffering as a result of a tragic flaw or unfavorable circumstances. It’s usually based on real events. A popular example of tragedy is the “Titanic.”
8. Nonfiction. This is content that represents truth or accuracy of information on people or events.
9. Fiction, the evil step brother of facts and real events. This genre is largely based on imagination -- allowing you to write just about anything you wished in the world. Authors who succeed in this genre are more likely to succeed in any other genre listed on here. What’s more, it is the most popular genre by far. Think “Lord of the Rings.” Or the “Hobbit.”
“The Hunger Games.” You see what I mean.
It is also far easier to write and succeed in writing fiction. You don’t have to worry about having facts or sources. Your readers are fine with you lying. You can talk about aliens. Create your own universe.
10. Thriller. Oh boy. I can’t get that Michael Jackson song out of my head. Thriller is another branch of fiction. It’s also the more upbeat step-cousin of drama. Where drama is the high school girls freaking out over the hottest guy in class, thriller is that dude high on cocaine. A fair analogy. If you’re not used to writing a thriller, the Alpha Book Publishing Team highly recommends that you start today!
11. Realism. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is the rejection of mythical beings. Realism is more in life with nonfiction, and could be interchanged as such. It’s about facing facts and being practical. If you’re into writing realism, you’re probably not into fantasy.
9. Set Word Count Goals
There’s only one shortcut to brilliant writing. The more you write, the better you get.
This is especially true for novelists.
So how important is setting word count goals?
And how much will this contribute to your quest to being the perfect writer?
There is no study on this so if I were to throw out a random number, a guesstimate, I would say around 10%. Now I could be wrong on the exact figure, but there is a strong correlation between how many words you churn out and how well you write.
The more you write, the better you get.
That makes setting word count goals that much important.
Let’s look at what the pros think about this.
Earnest Hemmingway does 500 words a day.
Stephen King writes four times as much, at 2,000 words a day.
Mark Twain? 1,400-1,800 words daily.
Arguably the nerdiest of them all is Michael Crichton. This author writes an impressive 10,000 words a day. Does he have a life? Dunno.
At Alpha Book Publisher, our ghostwriters and editors produce 3,000 words of content at minimum a day. Everyday. Individually.
That is it for our last segment of: 9 Simple Habits to be the Perfect Writer.
Are you a master of any of these habits? What is your weakness? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.