Conversations: 2/24/2017


Once upon a time—at a writers conference—one of the speakers opened with this question: “Why did the ancient cave dwellers draw on the walls? To tell their story, of course.” This was her introduction to the Memoir writing workshop.  However, what I took special note of that day was the story-fact that roses were part of Cleopatra’s scheme to capture the attention of Rome’s Mark Anthony—having thousands of rose petals scattered in her quarters before his arrival in Egypt. The rose we know today as “the Cleopatra Rose” is basically a wild bush with flowers that go to full blossom almost immediately after blooming. “Going wild” is not a useful quality for serious writers who not only want to write with excellence, but also have something of value to impart to their Readers.

Here is my fourth dozen of tips for you—as you build your writing career.

  1. IF you “hit a wall” and just cannot move past a certain point in the story—GO BACK to the last one or two chapters and read them. Like restarting an engine from the top of a hill, this usually kicks the plot back in gear.
  2. The very old cliché that “there is nothing new under the sun” is basically true when it comes to plot/storyline development. SO select one of your favorite authors in the genre you’re writing and outline the plot they used. No, this isn’t plagiarizing. It is learning from the best. You and only you are writing your Your characters are unique, as are the various settings, etc. However, being able to see a successful plot outline may be just what you need to complete your project.
  3. As you approach the conclusion of your first draft take another look at the main theme and any thread themes you’ve created. There need to be enough clues (information) in the final third of the book for your reader to discover and understand the solutions.
  4. Also, by the time the last third of the story is written, Readers should be pretty clear about who the main protagonist is so they can be participating in the adventure. UNLESS, of course, you’re developing a new Sherlock Holmes-type character who reveals all at the very end.
  5. Even though you’ve written (and probably rewritten) the first sentence/paragraph of your novel multiple times, consider rewriting it one more time AFTER you’ve written THE END.
  6. Consider placing your manuscript with a professional editor who will critique with grace. Ask other writers for recommendations. If you’ve decided to self-publish, ask to “interview” they editing/critique staff. FRESH eyes can hone a well done manuscript into a masterpiece.
  7. When the manuscript comes back to you, FIX IT YOURSELF. You are the author. You know the people/characters. The critique will help you see what needs to be adjusted.
  8. Remember: the words on those book pages will be creating your reputation as an author, and a person living on this planet. Be honest and ethical in your writing and storytelling.
  9. Write from the heart. Write what you need to write.
  10. CONTINUE to watch people—everywhere. Make note of the fine points of life as you observe them in daily living. These will feed your creative spirit and help you develop more stories.
  11. Also make notes about your own personal life experiences. No event—happy, sad, accidental or planned—is wasted material of the writer.
  12. DON’T GIVE UP! Don’t quit! Keep writing—no matter what may try to stop you.

Bottom line…these four dozen TIPS have been offered as experience-taught concepts to be consider—NOT as “rules” of writing—but as guidelines. May you and your creative works prosper! ⚓︎


ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

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