- Write often. Seems obvious, but I look back at my early work and I’m often amazed at seeing how much my writing has changed and improved from story to story.
- Try your hand at something new. Just because you typically write romance, don’t think you can’t try writing horror or comedy. You may need to work at it more but the results could be very worthwhile. I don’t believe you need to stick to just one genre in order to be a good author.
- Seek critiques. Whether it’s from a writing group you attend or online forums, ask others to critique your work. You don’t have to necessarily take all the advice they give, but if nothing else, it will make you think about your writing and ways to improve it.
- Read your work aloud, especially dialog. You want your writing to flow and to have good pacing. If you can, have someone else read your work to you. As the author, you’re going to automatically pause where you feel it’s necessary, even if you haven’t added a comma. Having a different set of eyes look at it means they will read it as written and you may find it’s riddled with extra, unnecessary words or that the dialog doesn’t seem natural.
- Trust your readers to be intelligent. I find that new authors seem to have a tendency to write every minute of their character’s day from the time they open their eyes in the morning until the time they put their head back down on the pillow at night. There are other ways to let readers know the calendar has moved ahead a day. Your readers will be smart enough to understand it.
- Get a good editor. They are costly, but the good ones are worth every penny. They will teach you things you never knew about your writing and writing in general.
- Be flexible. You may have a great idea for a story, but once you start typing it up, you may find you’re not connecting with your character in the way you want or that the beginning isn’t strong enough to catch a reader’s attention. Be willing to try to change the POV, the tense or where the story starts.
- Challenge yourself. Not only should you try your hand at different genres, but try being concise by limiting yourself to a certain word count or taking an everyday item and try to use an entire page to describe it.
- Write blurbs and tag lines. One of the hardest things an author has to do is explain their story in a line or a matter of a couple paragraphs. You can use them to give people a quick explanation of your story, for a back cover blurb, or rework them a bit for a query.
- Read! Read a lot! Read your genre to see what the current trends are. Read outside your genre for new ideas! Just read.
Secrets. Their weight can be crushing, but their release can change everything—and not necessarily for the better. Ian is no stranger to secrets. Being a gay teen in a backwater southern town, Ian must keep his orientation under wraps, especially since he spends a lot of time with his hands all over members of the same sex, pinning their sweaty, hard bodies to the wrestling mat.
When he’s trying not to stare at teammates in the locker room, he’s busy hiding another secret—that he starves himself so he doesn’t get bumped to the next weight class.
Enter Julian Yang, an Adonis with mesmerizing looks and punk rocker style. Befriending the flirtatious artist not only raises suspicion among his classmates, but leaves Ian terrified he’ll give in to the desires he’s fought to ignore.
As secrets come to light, Ian’s world crumbles. Disowned, defriended, and deserted by nearly everyone, Ian’s one-way ticket out of town is revoked, leaving him trapped in a world he hates—and one that hates him back.
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Genre - LGBT, YA
Rating – PG-13
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