This bothers me so much I have to post it:
“I always wanted to draw and paint but that wasn’t to be, so I became an Author instead.”
I just read the above somewhere on the Internet, posted by someone who shall remain anonymous. Without meaning to, I’m sure, this person demeaned writers. Why is it so many people feel that they can write a book when they don’t know the basics of writing to begin with? Would a teacher teach without knowing the material or how to reach the students effectively?
There are a few things a person should know about writing. First, take it seriously. It’s not just a hobby. Second, have a basic understanding of grammar and spelling. There are books on grammar, and get someone to check the manuscript for spelling. Don’t trust the word processing program. Third, a writer should hook the reader within the first page–better yet, the first paragraph. Then continue to engage the reader. Even if it’s nonfiction, make it interesting. And last, get rid of the exclamation marks. There is no need for those if you word your sentence to show it’s exclamatory.
Okay, rant over. Writers learn their craft by reading, writing, and rewriting. If you truly are interested, the best writers’ forums are at AbsoluteWrite.com Go over, introduce yourself, read through the many threads. It’s a great beginning.