If you’re trying to be a better writer, looking to the professionals is smart. And, if you’re interested in learning John Grisham writing tips or tips from any other writer, this is a great way to get started. After all, authors such as John Grisham are making money at their craft so tips from people such as this are truly invaluable.
If your writing isn’t perfect, you’ll never get published. Whether you need help with the technicalities of writing or tips for getting some of your ideas put down on paper, these tips can help and they include the following:
- Concentrate most on the style of writing you’re doing. In other words, if you’re writing a romantic novel, concentrate more on the romantic aspects than anything else; if you want to write a suspense novel, then the suspense portions of the book are what you need to concentrate on most. The other sections will eventually fall into place.
- Write one page each day. A lot of writers have trouble getting started or reaching their goal of completing a novel. If you do it slowly, it adds up over time and allows you to finish much more quickly. Writing one page a day makes writing your book a lot easier and a lot quicker and it is an easy task to accomplish. This is only about 200 words per day so it isn’t much.
- Don’t start out with writing as your career. Instead, write as a hobby in your spare time. It is a long way between writing as a hobby and getting your book made into a movie. While you’re writing, you still need to pay the bills so use writing as a hobby for now.
- Keep writing even after your first book is complete. Whether it is published or not, move immediately into your second book. In fact, the goal of completing one book a year is not an unrealistic one, especially if you’re organized. That should be your goal after your first book is complete.
- Always use an outline for your work. Before you write or type the very first word, you should have an outline describing what will happen in each chapter. This not only keeps you more organized but it also helps you remember what is supposed to happen in every chapter and stick to what you were planning to say.
- The outline is good for other things as well. The entire book will be laid out as you want it to be and you should never write the first scene until you know what the last scene is going to be. This makes the outline truly invaluable.
Mr. Grisham knows how to write and he follows these tips faithfully every time that he writes a new book. If you’re interested in learning other things that you should and should not do when you wish to be a writer, keep reading.
- Write in the same location every time you write. Ideally, you should have an office or at least a dedicated desk to write at every day. This helps your frame of mind and gets you in a true writing mood, which is the first step to successful writing.
- Forget about a prologue. That’s right; a list of John Grisham writing tips usually includes this one. Instead of a prologue, simply jump right into the very first chapter of your book. After all, this is where the true action starts!
- Always use quotation marks when writing dialogue between two or more people. Otherwise, it will be terribly confusing for the reader.
- Throw out your thesaurus. Only write two types of words: those you know and those you should know. Forget about the words that nobody knows because they are simply not important.
- Don’t introduce a lot of characters in the very first chapter. Your readers are anxious to get involved in the story but if you bombard them with too many characters in the first chapter, they only get confused and start forgetting who the characters are. No more than five characters should be introduced in the first chapter and even fewer whenever possible.
- Read every sentence you write at least three times and try to cut out all of the unnecessary words. Don’t be over-wordy because it makes you sound unprofessional.
Some Very Practical Suggestions
Getting advice and tips from the experts is the best way to improve your writing career so that you can increase the odds of being published some day. Many of these tips are common-sense suggestions but they are things that most wanna-be writers simply aren’t doing. They include the following:
- Have an elevator pitch. If you had to pitch the storyline of your book to someone in one or two sentences, could you do it? Grisham used the following elevator pitch for his second novel, The Firm: “Young lawyer fresh out of law school gets a dream job that turns out to be a nightmare.” Write a great pitch for your book and practice it for that crucial moment.
- Make sure that the middle section of your book is the strongest. It is often easy to write the first and last parts of your book but the middle 300 pages have to keep the readers’ attention and keep them reading. The middle part of your book must be perfect!
- Develop the perfect hook to rein those readers in! If you make sure that the first 40 pages of your book are interesting, you’re more likely to keep the readers until the end. The first page is important, of course, but by page 40, the readers’ minds can start wandering if you haven’t hooked them in by that point.
Some Final Thoughts
Of course, any list of John Grisham writing tips is going to include things related specifically to thrillers because this is what he does best. Learning from successful published authors will not only improve your writing skills but will also increase your odds of being published, which is what all writers want in the end.