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GUEST POST: Lessons Learned from Writing my WIP by Saleena Ali

Hi guys! I have a super fun guest post for you today! Saleena Ali, a fellow writer, is hear to share with us some lessons she's learned from working on her novel! Take it away, Saleena!

By: Saleena Ali

When I began my current work in progress, I never knew where this journey would take me or the road ahead. So, now my goal is to help other like-minded writers like myself get a step closer to their dreams. The best way, in my opinion, is to share what I’ve learned though this journey. Here are five tips every writer should know when working on their current work in progress. (WIP)

1. This is an important one) Never give up!

This seems easy enough, but it's not.

The trip to becoming a writer is filled with ups and downs. There are some days I write better than others. Somedays, I’m more motivated than others. Then there are days I’m too busy to write. The advice I was given is “you’re not a writer if you don’t write every day.” However, that is not true. If you write you are a writer, doesn’t mean you need to write every day.

2. Balancing a personal life with a writing life

Before starting a first draft, look at the schedule in your daily life. Everyone has a life other than writing.Because of that, there may not always time to get to your laptop to work on your manuscript. I know I can’t. Create your writing time around the schedule.

Solution: If it is too packed in the day, make some time at night to write instead, or vice versa. Always make breaks in between. That way, there is no overload when writing. Also, have a notebook at all times. I have one and if I can’t write at the moment I grab it and jot the idea down quick. Store it in a place that’s safe and that no one will touch. Lastly, carry it around everywhere.

3. Outlining

There are three types of writers: pantsers, plotters, and hybrid. Recently, I discovered I am a hybrid. For the first three years of writing my manuscript, I literally had no outline to help me. Now, I have a mini outline, (I don’t use it much but I have it just in case I need it).All writers should do a small outline for their WIP. Just in the case of getting stuck. This can be a helpful cure for writer’s block.

4. The first draft is always a mess

The first draft is not perfect!In fact, it’s the worst. Don’t get discouraged by it. When I started on my novel, I thought my manuscript would be perfect. I should have never assumed that. So, don’t worry if there are mistakes, typos, plot-holes, or character inconstancies. You’re the only person who is going to see it. With each draft, the story and storyline improves and changes. I know mine did.

5. Rule(s) of thumb for any draft

Whether it is the first draft or the tenth, it is important to play off from the previous “scene.”For those who may not know, the scene I’m referring to is the last train of thought or topic taking place in the book. To move the story, the scene needs to feel like a necessary stop. There can either be a new chapter or a new scene.When working on chapters always start and end it with another emotion. When ending a chapter with another emotion it’ll keep the reader engage and wanting to find out what happens next.

Final thought: There are days I have a lot of self-doubt. Self-doubt is natural, and a part of the writing process. The trick is to not let the self-doubt override the passion for telling the story. Remember to love what you do, and that creativity is a gift. Also to keep in the back of your mind that no one can tell your story like you; because no one can.

About the Author:

Saleena Ali started writing at the age of nine, at first it was only short stories, but from the very beginning, she knew she’d become an author. As the years went on, her dream of becoming an author grew. By the time she was sixteen, Saleena wanted nothing more than to see her work in the hands of readers.In 2014, she started to write her first novel, a young adult contemporary. Currently, she is in the editing process and preparing to share her work with the world in the near future. Saleena Ali’s inspired by reading books and motivational quotes.She loves listening to Carrie Underwood, and drinking coffee…preferably from Dunkin Donuts.

Visit her on Twitter and on Instagram

Thank you so much, Saleena! I love having guest posts for my blog and these are some great tips!

That's all I've got for you, folks! Until next time!

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