Updated: Feb 6
Becoming an author isn't some magical transformation. You don't say, "I'm going to write novel and be an author!" and boom, you are one. Writing takes dedication throughout the entire process. From the first sentence you put on the page, to the completion of the final edited version, it's a long road and it can take a lot out of you.
There is so much to do before you finally put pen to page (or begin tapping away on the keys of your laptop). There is plotting an planning, research, and character development. There is a lot of work involved in crafting your story and there is no perfect way to go about accomplishing all of it. While there are some rules you must adhere to (grammar and punctuation for instance) when crafting your story there is no right or wrong way to do it. What matters in the end is that your story makes sense, it's readable, and your characters and dialogue are believable so it draws the reader into the story.
People will criticize and tell you things like a character biting their lip is cliche but if it's important to your character then stick by your decision to make it a trait of theirs. Try not to stress too much about cliches, readers will overlook them as long as your story is well crafted and your characters are believable. You will never make everyone happy, so don't try to. It's a given that someone out there isn't going to like something you've written. I've seen erotic authors get reviews from readers complaining there was too much sex in the book. It was an erotic work, so I'm not sure what they expected. There are people who have nothing better to do than troll Amazon and leave crappy reviews, take them with a grain of salt. Always listen to reviews, take away from them what is useful and leave the bile behind. Reader reviews can be very helpful.
Our characters are a part of our family and we love them and care for them. They are real to us and we carefully craft all aspects of their personalities and lives. I wrote a book a while back and a reader started an argument over the name of the main character because she didn't like it and she thought it was fake. The thing is, it was a real name I found on a baby name site (there as also a character on NCIS with the same name), not that that should matter it's my character and I can name her whatever I'd like. I simply told her, it was the character's name and it wasn't going to change. Readers will find things they don't like and they can be nitpicky about it, you can't allow it to affect how you craft your story and your characters. Don't let anything or anyone dictate how you write your book.
If you can take a story that has been told over and over and create something new and exciting readers will buy it. Cinderella has been told and retold again and again but if you can create something out of the box then readers will enjoy it.
Take the time to create characters with depth, make them as real as possible and your story will be real to readers.
As always, if you have questions or comments please leave them!