1. Read, read, and read some more. Everything. All the time. Stuff yourself on the written word.
2. Write the story you want to read. You’ll be living in that world for a long time as you revise it, so you might as well have some fun.
3. As the famous saying goes, the first draft is simply you telling yourself a story. Don’t worry about anything, but getting the tale down on paper. You can edit and revise stuff later; you cannot fix a blank page.
4. Once you’ve bashed out your first draft, then the actual writing begins. Real writing is re-writing. Magic happens during revisions.
5. All stories are basically this: Once upon a time, someone wanted something, so she went in search of it. Things kept happening that prevented her from getting what she wanted. But she overcame the obstacles and reached her goal. She grew from those ordeals, and now she’s a different person, who may want something else.
6. Characters are the heart and muscle of your story. Nothing is more powerful than a dynamic character that your readers either love or hate. Your character’s desires and strengths and weaknesses will drive your plot.
7. I’ll say it again: Write the story you want to read. Need to read. Don’t let anyone silence your voice. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot write this kind of story or that kind of story. Simply write YOUR story. Now begin…