Monday, 19 March 2012

8 Ways to Become a Better Writer by Josh Lacey


Hello. My name is Josh Lacey and I'm the author of the Grk books.

There are eight of them now, beginning with A Dog Called Grk and concluding with Grk and the Phoney Macaroni.

I might write more in the future, but I haven't decided yet.



To accompany the eight books in the Grk series, I'd like to give you eight tips to help your writing.

Here are my suggestions for
Eight ways to become a better writer. 


1.  Find out what kind of writer you are.

Everyone has their own habits, their own patterns, their own ways of doing things. Some writers hurl out the whole book at great speed, then come back and smack it into shape in draft after draft. Other writers spend a year writing the first chapter, then a few months knocking out the rest, more or less in its final shape. You have to discover what works for you.


2.  Find your routine.

Write every day. Or every weekday. Or every other day. Or every Sunday. Or whatever works for you. But you have to find a routine, a way of writing regularly, constantly.


3.  Write what you love.

This might sound obvious, but it's surprising how many writers think they have to write what agents want, or what editors want, or what readers want. All those people are important. Of course they are. But you can't think about them while you're writing. Write what you want to write and what you want to read. Write what you love. You can worry about readers later.


4.  Write a lot. And cut most of it. 


5.  Finish what you're writing.

Get to the end. Put it aside. Start the next one. Your first novel might be a masterpiece, but you'll discover that most writers have written at least one book that wasn't published before writing the first that was, and often many more.


6.  Read.

Read good books, bad books, profound books, silly books. Read cereal packets and blogs and screenplays and short stories. Discover what the best writers can do with words. And the worst. Learn what to do and what not to do. You can't be a good writer unless you're a good reader.


7.  Read more.


8.  Don't believe anyone.

Particularly anyone who says that they know the eight ways to become a better writer. Listen to them, yes. But don't believe them. They don't know the answers. And even if they do, the most important thing as a writer is discovering your own answers. Hundreds of books are published every month, and thousands more are turned down by publishers. Why should yours be any different? Because it's by you. Because it's your characters, your stories, your jokes, your words, your book. Turn your back on everyone else and write it.




GRK AND THE PHONEY MACARONI ~
a tall tales & short stories review


Dognapped! Grk is walking happily through the park, sniffing trees and chasing squirrels, when he’s suddenly snatched by two men in black suits. 
Where are they taking him? And how can Tim get him back?

Tim and Grk’s eighth adventure takes them to the home of pizza, pasta and the leaning tower of Pisa. There they meet the Duke of Macaroni, a man with a terrible secret which he will do anything to hide.

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First of all, I have to say this book made me miss my own little black and white dog, Ozric, so much. He used to go everywhere with me and I could imagine both of us on adventures together just like Grk and Tim. And like Tim I would have done all I could to make sure my little dog was safe and happy.

Grk and the Phoney Macaroni is a cracking adventure story for the younger reader with enough thrills and spills to satisfy the adventurer in all of us. With a grown-up side-swipe at the political classes it succeeded in delving into darker places while maintaining the humour and suspense.

I could imagine boys relishing the story and wanting to be Tim as he speeds through Rome and pits his wits against the mafia style bad guys! A fun, page-turning read for boys and girls.
TB




A Dog Called Grk
Tim meets Grk for the first time. They travel to Stanislavia and track down Grk's owners.

Grk and the Pelotti Gang
In Brazil, Tim and Grk chase a gang of bank robbers.

Grk and the Hot Dog Trail
In New York, Tim and Grk follow the trail of a missing statue, the Golden Dachshund.

Grk: Operation Tortoise
In the Seychelles, Tim and Grk save the giant tortoises.

Grk Smells a Rat
In India, Tim and Grk rescue local children from slavery.

Grk Takes Revenge
In France, Tim and Grk finally meet Colonel Zinfandel again.

Grk Down Under
In Australia, Tim and Grk tussle with the infamous Red Jelly Gang.

Grk and the Phoney Macaroni
In Italy, Tim and Grk meet the mysterious Duke of Macaroni.



Andersen Press have also published other books by Josh Lacey, including The Island of Thieves



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4 comments:

Jackie Marchant said...

I like that sort of advice - especially the bit about ignoring advice! I'm a hurler and smacker myself, and I do a LOT of cutting. In fact, I'm off to cut the words I hurled at the page this morning.

Kate said...

Great advice! Your books look like a lot of fun!

K.M.Lockwood said...

Sound advice - especially 6, 7 & 8.
Thanks Josh.

Helene Poulakou said...

I'm beginning to understand how I work best as a writer. In fact, I prefer being a speaker, a storyteller:

I write down the plan of the story, along with some notes on the points I want to emphasize or on elements I believe I could exploit, and I like to narrate it. I record the story while narrating it, and then I work from there, preparing a transcription of the recording and finally editing the transcript.

Everyone has his/her own devices!

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