Practical Advice for Beginning Writers from Author Mercedes King

by | Feb 28, 2013 | Author Guest Post, Books, KUWTR

Practical Advice for Beginning Writers

          So it’s 2013, and one of your goals is to start / write / finish a novel. Maybe you’ve had this goal before, and you’re wondering, “What can I do differently this time to help me reach my goal?” Good question. Here are a few practical tips that may get you closer to writing, “The End”. (And, no, don’t put that on your manuscript, tempting as it might be.)

Set goals. Scratch that. Set reasonable goals–and make a plan. A plan starts with you writing down your big, ultimate goal. ‘I’m going to write a novel in 2013.’ Can it be done? Sure, but if you’ve never written a full-length novel (an average of 60 – 90,000 words or roughly 300 pages), you’ll want to create a strategy for accomplishing it. Break it down. To complete those 300 pages, you’ll want to set mini-goals, daily goals. Commit to writing 1 – 2 pages a day, or ‘x’ amount of words per day or week. In the long run, those words / pages add up, and you’ll establish consistent writing habits.

Sacrifice. Let’s get it out of the way. Writing those 3 pages a day is going to cost you something valuable: Time. Between taking the kids to practice, showing up for games and school events, getting work projects done on time, and not missing out on Aunt Dottie’s birthday, you’re going to have to carve out time for writing. That means possibly giving up your bowling league for a season, getting up an hour earlier / staying up later, devoting lunchtime or TV time to your craft. Remember, plenty of people talk about writing, but few put forth the necessary discipline. Don’t let that be you.

Be accountable. Gulp. Yep, I said it. In line with disciplining yourself, you’ll want to share your goals with others. Make it known that you’re working on the next great thriller. Friends and family will be supportive–and they will want regular updates. You should also get plugged in with a local writing group and let them know your goals. Writers are a wonderful, wacky bunch, and no one understands a writer like other writers. Plus, they’re in the same situation as you, working on their own goals. It’s a win-win.

Read. This might sound counter-productive, since your free time is supposed to go toward writing, but reading good books is a meaningful influence. You can never go wrong, spending time with your literary heroes.

Reward yourself. Yeah, that’s better. Now we’re on to something you really want to hear. As you reach your goals, mini ones and bigger ones, build in a reward system for yourself. Splurge on a Starbucks when you finish a chapter. Get your nails done, or celebrate with an evening out. Rewarding yourself will keep you motivated and keep you working toward that next milestone. Once you get a taste of how sweet writing-success is, you’ll keep pecking away.

As with any goal worth working for, you’ll make mistakes along the way. It happens. Forgive yourself and move on. Stumbling blocks may come. Leap over them, go around them. You’ll learn a lot on this novel-writing journey, and it will prepare you for writing your next novel, because when it comes to writing, you’re never really done.


A founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio, Mercedes King is an active member and past president. She graduated from Capital University with a degree in Criminology, and since then has been crafting stories with a scandalous flair. A born and bred Buckeye, she writes in a variety of genres and is hard at work on her next novel.

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O Jackie by Mercedes King


O! Jackie

Author: Mercedes King

File Size: 648 KB

Print Length: 442 pages

Publisher: Triumph Productions (January 1, 2013)

Language: English



Despite her poise and graceful smile, Jackie Kennedy’s life was far from perfect. Behind closed doors, Jackie struggled with bouts of depression, endured a heartbreaking road to motherhood, and had difficult relationships with those closest to her. Ravaged by insecurities and humiliation, she even wrestled her own temptations for both other men and divorce. But Jackie clung to the belief that she could make JFK abandon his wandering ways. Through the years, though, Jack Kennedy’s lustful escapades grew in carelessness and frequency, and most needling for Jackie were his trysts with Marilyn Monroe. When Marilyn becomes erratic and unstable, Jackie must decide how far she will go to protect the presidency and to save her marriage.


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Disclosure: This information was provided by the Author as a part of RAB Tours. This is NOT a compensated post. Prizes are NOT fulfilled by KUWTR.


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