20 Useful Tips for Writing a Novel

Today I decided to compile a list of one line tips that help me keep focused on writing and observations I have made since gaining a literary agent.  Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Don't play video games.
  2. 1000 words a day is healthy.
  3. Make time for your family....but not too much.
  4. Write a blog for recharging creativity.
  5. Don't bug your busy agent.
  6. Send what an agent asks you to send.
  7. Listen to criticism and then modify.
  8. Get help from other writers.
  9. Find a quiet place to write.
  10. Write outlines.
  11. Write character backgrounds.
  12. Do research.
  13. Interview experts or people with professions with which you are not familiar.
  14. Talk to a policeman, firefighter, detective, or teacher about their job.
  15. Keep writing.
  16. Follow the AGENT'S RULES when sending query letters.
  17. Don't bother sending directly to publishers.
  18. Don't write what is popular right now because it is already yesterday's news.
  19. Read great books, not flash in the pan drek.
  20. Edit, edit, edit, then pay someone to edit.

Care to add to the list?  Please do.  We all can use helpful tips.  Keep your tips brief, though.

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