ROW80 Check-In 4: Rebecca Maizel’s Top Ten Tips for Budding Writers

Welcome gentle reader,

For this fourth ROW80 Check-In, I want to share with you a post first published by Rosanna MKB Digital on the My Kinda Book website on July 17, 2012. It gives YA bestselling author Rebecca Maizel’s top 10 tips for writers and I find it highly inspirational. Feel free to check out the original post here and to visit Rebecca’s blog here.


“10. Read aloud. What sounds good in your head has a different rhythm when read aloud. Dialogue especially. Read aloud before you give your manuscript to your trusted readers.

9. When you are revising your manuscript, pick out the metaphors, similes, and personification. Make sure they are original and that they add to the theme of your story.

8. If you want to write, you must read. Read! Read! Read! Read stories that you don’t think will interest you. Be surprised. Be inspired by other people’s genius.

7. Don’t give your work to your friends unless these friends are writers or he or she loves to read. They love you so they will lie to you. Give your work to friends who want to see you write incredible stories and will give you the hard critique so your work improves.

6. Read what’s in the market. “I don’t read” is a phrase I hear a lot from young people. How can you write a story if you don’t study story?

5. Do a read of your manuscript and circle the amount of times you wrote, “I felt.” Then revise as many of those sentences as you can without that phrase. Show the feeling, don’t tell the feeling. We want to experience it with the character.

4. Avoid laundry lists of description. Example: Rebecca Maizel wore black pants, a black shirt, and black heels. Her hair was styled up and it was dark brown. BOOOOOOOOORING.

3. Please give your villains motivation! A villain who is evil for no reason isn’t believable. Even Darth Vader had a good side. Everyone, even those who challenge us are three-dimensional. It’s even scarier if you can bring them to life in fiction.

2. Every main character must have a want – a desire. If you can’t answer this statement: My character wants _________, then you don’t have a story. If nothing is at stake, your readers will stop reading.

1. Write what you love. Because you have to. Because without this story you won’t be living a fulfilled life.”

Now for my ROW80 goals:

1-     Write everyday: 5/7 days. This week AGAIN I wrote every day except for Tuesday and Wednesday. Getting to 7/7 is hard.

2-      Self-edit The Last Queen: done. A little bit.

3-      Continue writing the first draft of The Cursed King: not done this week.

Also, this week on my blog, you could:

–     read the first and last lines of my current WIP. Comments are welcome!

–     read an exclusive interview with YA author Lisa M. Stasse about her writing process.

Here is the Linky for the other check-in posts. How are you other ROW80 writers doing?

11 thoughts on “ROW80 Check-In 4: Rebecca Maizel’s Top Ten Tips for Budding Writers

  1. S. J. Maylee says:

    Love the tips, they are spot on. 5 out of 7 days is awesome, that will certainly keeps those words present and flowing. Have a great week.

  2. Shah Wharton says:

    Thanks for sharing this great post – I will be printing this off and filing it under writing tips/inspiration. 🙂 I have a few and use them to do my last run through on edits. This phase is looming….. *biting jagged nails*. Good luck next week with those goals. X

  3. Em says:

    I think I take the read, read, and read bit a bit too far! Great tips though. Well done on five out of seven days writing and also for not lowering your goal….you can do it!!!

  4. pencildancer says:

    I’m amazed to by those who want to write but don’t read. Why? Why would you want to write if you don’t care for books?
    Very good tips
    visiting from ROW80

  5. Juliana Haygert says:

    Nice tips! Thanks!
    Oh, writing 7/7 IS hard! Usually, I can’t write on weekends … You’re doing great, nevertheless 😉
    Have a great week!

  6. Lauren Garafalo says:

    I admire you going for 7 days. I always build in a day off. I know myself too well to think that I won’t need a day to veg out lol. Thanks for posting the tips – those were great! Glad you had a good week, and here’s to another!!

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