I’m hosting a guest post today by author Joel Babbit, the author of fantasy novels “Trials of Caste” and “Into the Heart of Evil”. Enjoy the guest post!
Advice to a friend on becoming a writer
A friend of mine recently told me he wanted to become a writer. Here are the initial thoughts I wrote to him… they serve as something of a gut-check. If you’re willing to do the below, then you may well have what it takes to become a published author:
1. A writer writes. If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer. Pick a time everyday to set aside for writing. Remember it’s BIC time… Butt In Chair. When you have writer’s block, try writing descriptions of people, things, etc.
2. Find your voice. You’ll find yourself imitating other writers at first. That’s fine to start, but eventually you need to find your own voice, your own way of expressing yourself. It may include pieces of others voices, but it needs to be your own flow.
3. Live your characters’ world. You must immerse yourself in their world, in their background, etc, because your voice must be true to them.
4. Listen to All feedback. You need the positive feedback to keep going, but you also need the blunt critical feedback to re-center yourself and point out things to improve.
5. Improve your craft. Read about writing. Learn English. Read voraciously, or you’ve no business being in the industry. Write little vignettes that you don’t plan to add to a book, but that are to help you stretch and grow.
6. Kill your darlings (Stephen King’s saying). There are things you get terribly attached to but you know they just don’t work in the book or they’re just not good enough, especially passages you’ve written or plot lines or characters you’ve introduced. You will find it hard to delete them, even though in your heart you know it must be done.
7. Everyone wants to write a book. Try writing an interesting short story first. Writing short stories helps you write books that are interesting in every chapter, not just at the end.
8. Share your writing with everyone around you, especially those in your target audience. However, make it a condition of getting to read it that they give you 3 ups and 3 improves.
Author: Joel D. Babbitt
A Game of Destiny, a Throne, a Paladin, a Prophecy… and Kobolds
In this explosive first novel in the Paladin of a Hidden God Series, the ancient game of destiny known as the Trials of Caste shows the Will of the Gods and reveals the Hand of the Fates.
A fresh voice in the Fantasy genre, Joel Babbitt’s story of Durik the kobold and his companions is genuine, triumphant, and absorbing. In two days and two square miles of caverns, Joel takes the reader deep into the heart of a tribe in turmoil. Looming insurrection, insurgent pacts, ancient powers, noble designs, and young aspirations combine to make the unforgettable coming-of-age tale of Durik the kobold and his companions.
With their year of training now past, Durik and six other young warriors are about to undergo the Trials of Caste where all of them will strive for the coveted position of elite warrior and the prestige and power that comes with it, though only one will win. Simultaneously, a deadly conspiracy threatens to destroy their tribal leaders and seize the throne for its own evil purposes. Durik and his six companions must each chose sides as the actions of an insurgent pact bring a day of decision for all the children of Kale. Yet through it all, as if from beyond where the ancestors go, an ancient power calls to Durik, strengthening him as he and his closest companions risk everything to fight against this encroaching evil.
Author: Joel D. Babbitt
In this second novel of the Paladin of a Hidden God series Joel masterfully weaves an explosive tale that puts Durik and his companions in a desperate fight for their lives, one they will only survive if they are true to themselves and to each other.
It was supposed to be an easy journey… a simple first step for a band of new warriors. But evil has an agenda of its own, and relentless conquest strikes when it chooses. And what can so few do against so many? Yet evil is not the only power that stirs in the southern valley; from deep in their prophetic past an ancient power also has returned, nurturing, watching, and helping its paladin. On the anvils of danger and sacrifice Durik and his small group of companions will be forged by the hammer of their mutual hardships into an able band of heroes, but only if they can survive the journey into the heart of evil…
Joel Babbitt is an officer in the U.S. Army and a bishop in his church. He has spent his entire adult life living and teaching principles of leadership and team building in a warrior environment. Joel and his family live in Maryland, USA.
(Joel and his interior illustrator Anna Cate in 2006)
Follow the author at:
@AuthorJoel on Twitter