Kimberly Smith


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Writing Tips

Even before I thought to publish my writing, I always kept a pen and paper close by. I would jot down notes and thoughts about things that I thought would make an interesting book. Even now I have little pieces of paper all over my desk and I use the voice recorder on my phone to record thoughts that I don’t want to forget.

Tip number one Keep a journal or notebook of ideas and thoughts that you could turn into books.

I am a reader and I always have been, thanks to my mother instilling the desire to read at a young age. If you are going to write, you should be a reader as well. I have been known to read a 400-page book in eight hours. I have been known I would read between five to ten books a week. Most of these books were anywhere from 200 to 500 pages long. The best way to get better at writing is to emulate the writers you love. I have been reading romance for more than thirty years. That’s why I chose to start my writing career in the romance genre. I also love whodunit mysteries and thrillers. I’m working on my first mystery book and hope to have a good first draft in a few months.

Tip number two: Read the genre you would like to write in.

Write a little bit every day. I have found this helps me combat writers block. Now that I consider writing my full-time career, I write something every day. I set goals based on word count and I strive to achieve it daily. Sometimes I reach my goal and sometimes I fall short. I started with trying to write 500 words a day. Then I increased it and now I’m trying to achieve six thousand words a day. I can usually achieve it in a few hours if I am focused.

Tip number three: write something everyday and set goals that are achievable

Staying focused can be a problem in our world today. We have so many distractions. When I write I turn off the television, find a quiet place and put my phone on do not disturb. I love that feature because I can set it for a certain amount of time and I can set it to let certain calls through. This allows me to focus on writing for how ever long I need to. I write at home in my bedroom. I have three roommates and during the day two of them are at work, so I don’t have a lot of interruptions, but in the evenings and weekends they are home and because I need to focus I have a sign on my door that reads creating worlds, do not bother me unless it’s an emergency or related to food. For the most part it works. I get a lot done thanks to being able to focus solely on what I’m working on.

Tip number four: Learn how to focus on the writing. Create a creative space to work in.

I have often heard people say write what you know. That doesn’t mean don’t be creative. I think what it means is to include feeling and insight that you have from your own experiences to make the story relatable to the reader. People will read a book and share it with others when they can say I get what this author is saying because I’ve felt that way or I’ve been through something like that and he handled it the same way I would.

Tip Five: write what you know, share your feeling and insights with the readers.

Don’t overthink what you are writing. Perfection is not what you should be striving for. My first drafts are usually filled with errors and mistakes because my mission is to get the story out of my head and onto the page. Once I’ve finished I go back and read it making notes about thinks that could be better and or changed. I fact check everything that I am not an expert on. If you have internet access you can find information on anything and everything using your favorite search engine. I like to think of google as my own personal research tool. Once I’ve done my read through and fact check, I go in and read it for content. When I think I have a solid story that flows well, I send it to a group of beta readers. You can find groups like this on Facebook. I send them a PDF file of the book and given them 14 days to read it and send me back their feedback and comments.

Tip number six: Don’t overthink the writing on the first pass. Just get the story out of your head.

Kimberly Smith