Top 10 Writing tips

Don’t talk for the entire day. Just listen.

Take a temporary oath of silence. Your songwriting will thank you. A whole day might be a bit much. Besides, you HAVE to talk to lay down that earth-shattering vocal of pure genius. But It’s no secret that silence is good for you. Even an hour of silence is more than enough time to reset your brain. Whether you know it or not, talking is a huge and complex task for your brain to carry out. Putting it aside for a little while will put you in the right place to write. And during all that silent time all those deep memories and feelings will have a clear path to the top of your mind. Y’know, all those thoughts that make great songs. So take a break from the chatting and try silence for awhile. Let your brain do the talking and find all the inspiration you need.

Plot out your story before you begin

Stories in the fantasy genre are often complex and epic — all the more reason to plot it out before. You don’t want to accidentally trip over all 99 of your storylines. And you don’t want to be that writer who gets to the end of the book and realizes they’ve forgotten to tie a knot in one part of the plot. Hello, darkness, my old friend. That's why Young says to get a general sense of your plot before you start writing. “You’ll know your world so much better if you know your story first,” she says. “Then, once your story is plotted out, you can use the plot structure as a skeleton to show where you want to build your world, scene by scene.” For more food for plotting thought, you can read up on narrative arcs here.

Keep language FORMAL and avoid language of everyday speech.

Don't say: "Cinderella was mellow and good. She never let her stepmother get to her ." Say instead: "Cinderella was mild-mannered and kind. She never let her stepmother affect her high spirits ."

Create a plan for your book launch and marketing.

It’s not too early to think about your book launch and about how you’ll market your book afterward. What will you do during the launch to get the word out about your book’s promotion? What will you do after launch — every week — to get the eyes of your ideal readers on your book? Knowing this now can help you lay the foundation for a successful launch and an effective marketing plan.

Give people a reason to opt in

Let’s take a step back for a minute. For you to get conversions in the first place, you need to have an active list of email subscribers. The best way to do this is to give them a great reason to opt in. Just saying “sign up for our newsletter” isn’t appealing. How can you approach this? Value. Pitch people with value. Give them an incentive to sign up. Check out this example from the Lands’ End website: Customers who sign up for their newsletter will get 25% off their orders. It’s a no-brainer for customers to opt in. But the value doesn’t stop there. They continue by saying their newsletter subscribers also get access to exclusive offers. This implies they’ll get other discounts in the future as well. Besides monetary discounts, think about other ways your company can add value to prospective newsletter subscribers. It depends on your company and your industry, but try to get creative here. For example, an airline could offer priority boarding to customers who subscribe to their newsletter. You could provide free online seminars or e-book downloads to anyone who signs up for your newsletter. If your company hosts events, you can offer free parking passes or free entry to subscribers. Just think outside the box. The more people subscribe, the greater your conversions will be.

Sleep With Your Readers

Remember when I said subheads should create curiosity? This is a good example. What keeps your audience awake at night? What has them tossing and turning at 2 o’clock in the morning? Answer this question and then write about it. Follow this one writing tip and you could (almost) ignore the rest.

Tie your worldbuilding into your plot

Plot and worldbuilding should see eye-to-eye. “You want to be original, so ask yourself, what sets my world apart?” says Alex Foster, a ghostwriter who’s penned eight bestsellers. Importantly, a rich universe can be a major player in your plot — playing as big of a role as any other character. “In A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin uses the environment as a plot point when describing both summer and winter seasons — as winter brings dark, dead things that can wipe out the entire Realm,” says Foster. “He also adds architecture as a plot point in the form of the Wall, a massive ice edifice separating the North and the South. How fascinating that such a massive piece of plot centers around a single wall. Sounds simple, but you can see its complexity. Stephen King also does an expert job in Under the Dome, when a small town is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by a giant, transparent dome.”

Do a sound walk

Your neighborhood is full of interesting sounds. Why not go find them, record them and put them into your own context? Just grab your field recorder (the smartphone in your pocket is a great starter) and hit the streets. Think of places around you where you could get an interesting snippet to sample—loud conversations at your local Italian coffee shop, college students wandering home late at night during frosh week, birds in the morning, church bells ringing, rainfall… the list goes on and on. Once you record them, they’re sounds that only you have. So get inspired and find some songwriting inspiration with a carefully considered sound walk.

Set an absurd time limit

Guess what? Diamonds by Rihanna was written by Sia in 14 minutes. She put the beat on and the lyrics just flowed. It has gone platinum 5 times in the US alone. Time is a hard scale to balance. Too much and you end up second guessing everything. Too little and you get nothing done. The solution? Set a time limit. Even better, set a time limit that’s way shorter than what you normally write in. Setting slim boundaries will help you focus on what matters, write more songs, and streamline your entire process. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Try it out and make your songs shine bright like a… gold brick?

Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

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