"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"
...is an author who's published several popular novels. Her advice:
First, I'm going to pass along something Dee Henderson said to me long ago: Find that one thing that makes you unique, and then become really good at it. For example I love contemporary romance, with a touch of suspense, and I lived in Russia -- so I took that combination and wrote a series of books set in Russia, and because I knew my topic so well, it came through in my writing and gave me a unique voice. SO -- make a list of everything that makes you "unique" and then see if any of those topics can be developed into a novel.
Secondly -- keep a writing journal -- a collection of phrases, and plotlines and characterization techniques and even titles that draw your eye and particularly touch you as a writer, and take the time to figure out why. This collection will shape and sharpen your own writing as you hone your voice, and your stories.
Finally -- don't get stuck on one project. Keep moving forward with story ideas, keep learning, and keep writing. (and write lots of things - newsletters, blogs, for your church, your family -- everything counts when you're honing your skills!) If you are faithful to be a good steward of the writing gift you've been given, God will use it!
--Susan May Warren, author of The Noble Legacy series, Mission: Russia series, and more. Visit her online at her website to learn more.