I've done quite a bit of fiction writing, but perhaps the surprising thing is not how much I've written (my big epic is 13-books long, at 5.2 million words total), or the quality of it, but that the only classes in writing that I ever took were your standard high school English classes. The rest I taught myself, picking up by simply reading novels and picking out the little things that I liked. Yes, I am entirely self taught, which means that while I do not know how other writers may have been taught to do things, I am also not limited by those teachings either. People read my stuff, marvel, then ask me for a few tips. I guess I must be doing a few things right.
So, in the course of writing 8 million some-odd words of stories, I've come up with a few ways of doing things that seem to work quite well for me and may even work for others as well. Since top-ten lists are all the rage, I've managed to sum things up in my own Top Ten Writing Tips, but being who I am this means, of course, that this Top ten list has an 11th item on it that I just could not resist including (It's a good one). So without further ado, here are my own tips for writing a good story, be it short story or epic novel.
And lastly my favorite that I came up with all on my own that also makes for a great quote...
11. One picture may be worth a thousand words, but the job of a good writer is to make one word worth a thousand pictures.
About Mark Tierno
Mark is not only the recipient of degrees in Physics and Mathematics, but the author of his own Fantasy-SF epic "Maldene", spanning 13 novels and over 5.2 million words. He has also authored the forthcoming Cyberdawn series and the Inspector Flaatphut stories, for a grand total of over 8 million words worth of storytelling written through a 10-year period, and he still has much more to write! All this conceived and written while helping his mother care for his Parkinson-stricken father as his full-time job, he has displayed an amazing ability in both the creative and intellectual.
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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