Sharing Some Techniques and Tips for New Writers (from Writing and Publishing Course)

Article Title: Sharing Some Techniques and Tips for New Writers (from Writing and Publishing Course)
Submitted by: Craig Lock Category (key words): Writing, Creative Writing, Publishing Course, Book Publishing, E-books, Writing Hints/Tips (enough there for now, craig!)
Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at and
Other Articles are available at: and
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)
Publishing Guidelines:
This piece (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”



* these hints and writers quotes were sourced from Thomas Clark, former senior editor at Reader’s Digest many years ago

“The foundations of successful writing are within anyone’s grasp. The only way to do it is to do it.”

– Tom Clancy

“My greatest good fortune was that I didn’t know that I was doing everything wrong. If I’d have done a single right thing I probably would have failed. If I’d known how hard – statistically speaking – it is to get a first novel published, I might have given up. What success means is really looking failure in the face and tossing the dice anyway. You may be the only person who knows the dice came up; but in that knowledge you have something that millions of people will never have – because they were afraid to try.”

– Tom Clancy (again)

“There is no perfect time to write. There is only the present.”

– Barbara Kingsolver

“Dreams are the stuff that make life worth living. Give them up and you give up all that truly matters.” “The art in writing is rewriting.” Never fall in love with your first draft – rewrite.”

“You MUST believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself and your talent and your ability to succeed, then you can’t expect others to believe in you.” – Joan Nixon

“I write because something inside myself, inner and unconscious forces me to. That is the first compulsion. The second is one of ethical and moral duty. I feel responsible to tell stories that inspire readers to consider more deeply who they are.”

People often write to preserve a family’s history. You too can learn about the richness of your family background. (Nice word dat ‘dingbat’. My dear wife, Marie invented it to describe some of the dear and kindly inhabitants of “Sleepy Hollow”). Write what you care about and understand.

“The simple truth is that all good books will eventually find a publisher, if a writer tries hard enough. The central secret is to write a book people like you will enjoy reading.”

– Richard Patterson

“Write from your own passion, your own truth. That’s the only thing you really know a lot about. Anything else leads you away from the pulse.”

– Marianne Williamson

And some more thoughts on writing from Marianne Williamson: “Courage matters as much as talent. A real writer doesn’t consider giving up as an option.”

“Gustave Flaubert said it best: ‘We do not choose our subjects, they choose us.” – Josephine Hart

“Writers come from every walk of life and every background. An excellent editor once told me the secret of good fiction is to place flesh on the bones of an ordinary story and to drive it with strong characterisations.” – Steve Martini

Write about the most embarrassing moment in your life. Write a poem of 10 lines, then discuss the next day in class. ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE was initially rejected by 122 publishers. Since then it has never been out of print. The ideal length of a book is +- 200 pages?? Publishers have rejected previously published novels, eg. “controversial” NZ writer, Alan Duff.


The following are actual rejection notices received for these famous and incredibly successful books…

* “It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.” The book: ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell

* “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling, which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

The book: ‘The Diary of Ann Frank’

* “It does not seem to us that you have been wholly succesful in working out an admittedly promising idea.”

The book: ‘Lord of the Flies’ by Wiliam Golding

* “For your own good, do not publish this book.”

The book: ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ by DH Lawrence

* “A long dull novel about an artist.” The book: ‘Lust for Life’ by Irving Stone

Some hope for me then… perhaps!

If you believe in your writing, as Winston Churchill said so well…

NEVER give up

“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” – Henry Ford

Story flows from character. Character is the most important ingredient in any fiction story. A good plot with lousy characters is a lousy book. But a mediocre plot with strong characters makes enjoyable reading.” – Robert Cormier

“Listen to the way people talk. If your characters sound real, the rest is easy.” – David Eddings

Edit and rewrite – until you get it down on paper, there’s nothing to work on. “Even garbage can be improved.”

“There is no shortcut to writing a good novel. The publisher doesn’t want to hear about the idea, but to see the book.” – Richard Patterson

“My manuscript is the only thing over which I have absolute control.” – Sandra Brown

“Writing is hard work. But very enjoyable hard work and completely satisfying – even though one is never completely satisfied with one’s efforts.” – Colleen McCullough

Trust your own instincts. “Be bold. Thrust forward. Have the courage to make mistakes, even to fail. Nobody is going to die, if your efforts aren’t perfect.” – Garrison Keillor

“When you want to quit: Put your manuscript away for a time. Go off and ‘shoot pool’, watch TV, fish – do whatever you want to do and see what happens. If the urge to write goes away, you have no problem. If it doesn’t, you’d better resign yourself to the idea you’ll never be happy, unless you are a writer.” – Garrison Keillor (again)

“If you have a masterpiece within you, you’d better save it on paper. Otherwise one thing is for sure – none of us will ever miss it.” – Steve Martini

“Many writers challenge and test themselves and their readers in new ways. They are continually trying to find new niches,” – craig lock

“Courage matters as much as talent. A real writer doesn’t consider giving up as an option.” – Marianne Williamson (once again)

A glimmer of hope for me then!

“When a new writer says to me ‘I give up – it’s too hard’, I reply, ‘Fine, give up’ and if the recipient of this advice takes it without flinching, I know there was no real writer there to begin with.” – Steven Bach

“Write for yourself, not for social recognition or financial success. If you’re any good, they will come. But the work itself must be your primary and major satisfaction.”

– William Heffernan


Mastering the technical bits: “Begin with a great opening sentence. Make frequent use of sensory perception. Use strong active verbs. One good verb is better at description than a clutter of adverbs and adjectives.” – Joan Nixon

If you have a wonderful idea, don’t talk about it to friends and relatives. Write it down. Don’t discuss, nor spend too much time with writing groups.

“Start each fresh day by rewriting the last page of where you stopped yesterday.” – Patrick McManus

“Always stop for the night at the point where you know exactly what the next paragraph will be. It avoids the blank stare when you’re rewriting.” – William Heffernan

Don’t tell – SHOW

“Don’t be too miserable, if your first efforts aren’t any good. Stick at it. Keep reading and writing and learning, as it’s the only way you’ll improve.” – Alexandra Ripley

REWRITE what you’ve written. James Michener, the famous writer, once said: “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” So write quickly and rewrite slowly; then read out what you’ve written (to yourself)… to see how it “sounds to your reader.”

“Don’t be afraid to discard work you know isn’t up to standard. Don’t save junk, just because it took you a long time to write it.” – David Eddings

And David Eddings shares some more thoughts on the writing process: “Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep believing. You may never make it big; but at least you know you gave it your best shot.”

And to end off, here is a wonderful philosophy for new writers… “There is no perfect time to write, there is only the present. She’s right. If we wait for everything to be perfect, we can spend our whole life waiting.” – Barbara Kingsolver

I hope that the above tips from Thomas Clark are helpful and perhaps even inspirational to you and that is why I am sharing them.

We learn by DOING! “Excuse me. Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practise, son, practise!” (thanks dad). Then in time we can “master our craft”.

Happy writing and good luck*

Craig Lock (Eagle Productions Books)

* which is sometimes defined as where ‘preparedness meets opportunity’

“Eagles may fly high, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.”

“They say that if enough chimpanzees were put in front of enough word processors for enough time, eventually one of them would write Hamlet.”

“The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions.”

– Alan Cohen

About the submitter:

Craig is a writer, who believes in (and loves) sharing information with a touch of humour, as well as encouraging and helping others to find their talents and gifts, to strive for and accomplish their dreams in life – whatever they may be.

See how YOU can write and publish your own book with the new online publishing course:

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at +

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – MINE!

What’s the definition of an aspiring author? A waiter!

What’s the difference between a writer and a family pizza? The pizza can feed a family of four!

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at and

THIS ARTICLE MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED (with acknowledgment to Thomas Clark and Reader’s Digest, please)

A book is small enough to hold in your hand; but when you read it, the walls fall away and you’re in a room as big as the world.”

“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
– Chinese proverb


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