Advice from Oleg Medvedkov
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1. Learn to write a sentence before anything else. Write sentences that are clear, easy to understand, that say what you want to say, and keep people reading. Remember, the reason the first sentence exists is only so that the reader reads the second sentence; the second sentence exists so that people read the third one; and so
2. Write everything as if you’d never have to edit it. This is called “writing in the last draft.” It will slow you down in the beginning, but it will improve your writing considerably by establishing good writing habits from the start. No short hand, no “I’ll edit it later.” Learn how to produce good, readable copy at a first attempt. Doesn’t mean you won’t have to edit it, no. But it will save you a lot of time and effort down the road.
3. Learn how to “un-love” your own writing. I understand that what you wrote is dear to you. Perhaps so dear that you will hurt if you have to delete or change something if needed. Well, tough. Get rid of that feeling, you’ll be a better writer for it.
4. The last bit of advice is probably the most important: Writing is 10% self-expression, and 90% presentation. I know you want to express what you feel and put in on paper. So, don’t do that. If you do, it will be a mess. The only person who’ll like it will be you. And perhaps your dog, but that’s not a guarantee.
To avoid that:
A. Learn the craft of writing; it’s very easy.
B. Always keep in mind your readers, you know, the people for whom you are writing? Ask yourself questions: Is it easy to read? Is what I said clear and connected in a logical and meaningful way? Is there too much description and not enough dialog and action to keep my reader interested? Are my paragraphs short enough so that the reader will not fall asleep while reading? Are my sentences easy to understand? And so on…
5. Oh yeah, while you are in college anyway, go sign up for an Internet marketing class. Your books don’t have to be great literary masterpieces in order to sell--at any given time, 90% of all the bestsellers on the market are averagely written at best. You just need to know how to turn out a competent copy and how to sell your books. That, and some luck.
Well, cheers and good luck!
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