7 Common Writing Myths to Avoid

7 Common Writing Myths to Avoid

Have you ever thought about writing a book? Do the writing myths scare you? I’m not talking about Viking or Greek mythology, but the myths people tell themselves to avoid writing a novel.

These days, you don’t need traditional publishing or literary agent to get your book in front of people. The Internet, writing software and companies like Amazon and Ingram Sparks have made it possible for anyone who wants to get their ideas out in the universe, but there are a lot of misconceptions and writing myths that waylay aspiring novelists.

Three photo; one of smoke, a glowing book and a woman in a forest

Created in Canva.

Seven Writing Myths to Avoid.

If you want to get published, don’t fall for any of these following writing myths.

Myth 1: Writing Requires Talent

There is no getting around the fact that talent helps. It is what separates exceptional writers from good ones. But writing is a skill that you can develop and learn. If you practice, study and seek guidance from others, you can improve as a writer. Learning is a continuous process and there are multiple websites, blogs and courses designed specifically for novelists. Dedication harnessed with talent can increase your skill level.

Myth 2: Writing is Easy for Some People

Writing is difficult for anyone. Even the most prolific experienced writers struggle. In fact, writing is brutally hard work, but experience and practice make it easier. Everything in life becomes easier with practice.

Most novelists agonize over every word choice and phrase, wondering if they could have improved it somehow.

Myth 3: Writing Isn’t a Useful Skill

Writing is a crucial skill. Okay, writing isn’t the same as complicated brain surgery or rocket science, but writing is not only the cornerstone of communication in business, but every facet of life requires some type of writing. We all send emails, text messages, and make social media comments every day. Sometimes, we rely on spell check so much that we expect technology to catch all the mistakes.

Myth 4: Writers’ Block is Insurmountable

There are two types of people with writers’ block. The first people refuse to write until everything is perfectly aligned. They need the perfect place, mood, pen or moment to write and refuse if everything isn’t to their exact specifications. Essentially, they create their own writers’ block.

The second group needs time for their story to percolate in their brain. They need to listen to their subconscious and take time to complete their story. Because, with time, the story will flow again.

Myth 5: It is Too Late to Start my Writing Career

Don’t let fear stop you from writing the novel that’s been bubbling around in your imagination for days, months, or years. Writing is not so much about talent as work and consistency. Write every day even when you don’t feel like it. Sometimes you just have to free write until the words start flowing again.

Myth 6: You Need a Writing Degree

Don’t let a lack of education stop you. Many writers have never taken a writing class and have published multiple books and novels. Imagination and creativity are the basic tools. You can hire an editor to clean up your commas and grammar.

Myth 7: Anything Short of Perfection is Failure

This usually has two meanings. The first is that your idea didn’t work out the way you intended and the second is that someone else won’t like it. Let’s face it, your writing won’t appeal to everyone, but that’s okay because you will find your readers.

Hollow Edge book sitting on a park bench.

Final Thoughts

I can tell you from experience that it is difficult to write a book. In fact, I almost quit several times, but I kept with it and I am thankful now that I did. Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

 

Feature image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay.

Write Your Novel: 7 Tools You Absolutely Need

Write Your Novel: 7 Tools You Absolutely Need

What tools do you need to write a book? Years ago, crumpled up wads of paper torn out of a typewriter would surround a writer. I would hate to think how long it would have taken me to write my novel that way. Paper and pen might have been the better option.

These days technology has made it easier than ever to write. There are programs and apps designed just for writing and editing. In this blog, I will detail the tools I used to write Hollow Edge that may help you.

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7 Tools I Used to Write My First Novel

1. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is the best word-processor on the planet hands down. Formatting is a breeze. You can delete or replace a word with the find and replace function. Copy and paste sections easily from one place to another.  Creating headings makes it easy to navigate in large documents. You can create an auto-correct for frequently misspelled words. These are just a few things that Word can do.

WordPress

I wrote 90 percent of Hollow Edge in Word. A bonus when you write on OneDrive, Microsoft Word automatically saves your work. Word is a paid program available in the Microsoft 365 bundle for $79 CDN a year.

2. Scrivener

A writer created Scrivener specifically for writing. It has a place to write, store and organize your research. Dual screens, a place for notes, a corkboard for visuals, and the binder doubles as an outline.

Scrivener screenshot (dual screen)

I do all my writing now in Scrivener because I can keep everything in one place, though sometimes I miss Words’ fully functioning word-processor. Scrivener is available as a onetime purchase of $49 USD.

3. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is “A grammar checker, style editor and writing mentor in one package.” The program is super simple to use. The app checks your style and grammar. It has a built-in thesaurus. The program checks for overused words, repeated words, and echos. It checks sentence lengths among many other reports. I love that it finds passive writing and suggests ways to make it active. I run all my writing through ProWritingAid.

ProWritingAid integrates with Word and Scrivener as an add-on, or you can use the online tool. ProWritingAid is a yearly purchase of $79 USD, but it is always half price on Black Friday.

4. Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is another writing and editing tool I tried. The app has a clean writing tab and an editing tab.

The editing tab flags hard to read sentences and even grades your writing level. It easily weeds out passive voice and finds unneeded adverbs. The online version of Hemingway Editor is free, but the desktop app is a onetime payment of $20 USD.

5. Grammarly

It never hurts to have another grammar and spelling checker. Grammarly also finds passive writing and gives suggestions along with uncovering wordiness and punctuation mistakes. The app can even check for plagiarism.

Grammarly integrates with Microsoft products, there is an online editor and a desktop app. The app also has a browser extension that I love when I type my blogs into word press. Grammarly has free and paid versions.

6 Microsoft Excel 

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. Before I discovered Scrivener, I kept all my novel data in Excel. It kept my writing organized with tabs for each character, timelines, world-building, and plot.

 Excel works great to keep track of your daily word counts. Excel is a paid program available in the Microsoft 365 bundle for $79 CDN a year.

7. OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking program that you can organize into notebooks, sections, and pages. It is a great place to jot down ideas that come to me in strange places and times. I installed Notes on all my devices so what I save on one device becomes available on all.

I tried other note-taking programs like Notes on my iPhone and Evernote, but OneNote is my favourite. OneNote is a paid program available in the Microsoft 365 bundle for $79 CDN a year.

Final Thoughts

These are all the tools I used to write my first novel. I put my novel through ProWritingAid, Grammarly and Hemingway Editor at various points, as a new author I wanted to check all those nasty typos.

Have you tried any of these apps or programs? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

Note: I am not an affiliate for any of these programs.

Feature image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.