It pays to learn the craft first

Are you new to writing? Have you been writing for a while? I’ve been writing for a long time, but it wasn’t always full-time and I would go for long periods of time where I would be too busy with life to write. I went through some rough patches which eventually led to me getting a divorce and I can tell you that it’s extremely difficult to write when your life is in chaos.

But now, I’m concentrating on my writing, blogging, book conversions, proofreading, and cover designs.

I want to say that I think it is very important for all of us to learn the craft of writing. We should never stop learning. And if you’re just starting out, I think you should try to learn as much about writing as you can and do it as soon as you can. That way, you’ll avoid a lot of mistakes. The mistakes that I made and the mistakes made by so many authors before us.

I had basically finished my first novel – well, I thought so – when I read a blog post on Live Write Thrive by CS Lakin that said to not start your novel with lots of backstory and especially don’t start with a flashback. And what did I have in the first chapter? A flashback.

It didn’t start out that way, but I’d read a few novels with a flashback at the start and thought that it might make it interesting, but Ms Lakin said in her blog that if you start with some action, then slip into a flashback, you’ve stopped the action and slowed down the novel, which is a bad thing. And when I thought about it, she is dead right. I changed it immediately.

I still have a lot to learn, of course, but if I’d known then what I know now… life would’ve been a lot easier when it came to writing. So my suggestion is to get on the Net and get your head into some books and learn as much as you can. Now.

Some book suggestions:

  • “The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction” by CS Lakin. (You can buy the book or read it in blog form on Live Write Thrive.)
  • “The 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing” by CS Lakin and four other top authors. (You can buy the book or read it in blog form on Live Write Thrive.)
  • “Shoot Your Novel” by CS Lakin. (You can buy the book or read it in blog form on Live Write Thrive.)
  • “Say What? The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage” by CS Lakin. (You can buy the book or read it in blog form on Live Write Thrive.)
  • “Writing the Heart of Your Story” by CS Lakin. (You can buy the book or read it in blog form on Live Write Thrive.)
  • “Story Engineering – Mastering the Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing” by Larry Brooks.
  • “Story Fix” by Larry Brooks.

YouTube suggestions:

  • Film Courage. They talk about movies, but you can learn a lot from the structure and development of characters, etc from these videos
  • Jenna Moreci
  • Vivien Reis
  • Shaelin Bishop (ShaelinWrites)
  • Kristen Martin
  • Kim Chance
  • Rachael Stephen
  • Natalia Leigh
  • Ellen Brock
  • Michael Levin
  • K.M. Weiland
  • Derek Murphy
  • Joanna Penn (The Creative Penn)
  • And last, but not least, Cinema Sins. They go through movies and pick them apart. Weak characters, plot holes, you name it. It is a great learning tool.

If you’re not a newbie, don’t worry. It’s never too late to learn.

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.


Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at

One thought on “It pays to learn the craft first

  1. I totally agree with this post. I also started with backstory and in a prologue, which I have since learnt is a big turn off for most publishers. Doh! Back to the drawing board I went. But I learnt a lot by making mistakes. I will check out CS Larkin’s Blog.

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