Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Roar for Powerful Words

By Nichole Giles

Dan from the Thoughts on LDS blog at has honored me with a beautiful award called “A Roar for Powerful Words.”

I had never heard of this award before. I’m grateful to know that my words have affected someone else in a positive way, and that he would remember me when choosing five people he felt deserved this award.

The deal is that I have to give three tidbits of writing advice and then pass the award on to five other people. Before I do, I want to thank Dan for reading, and for telling me my words were powerful. That is a high compliment, indeed. Now, here is my advice.

Read. Read, read, and read some more. If you want to write, the best way for you to become a better writer is to read as many books as you can. I’m not just talking about reading in one particular genre, either. I’ve found that the more I read—even from genre to genre—the more I learn about what makes good writing.

For instance, I’ve been working on my current novel since September. I wrote an entire manuscript and then scrapped it and started over because something really bothered me about my first attempt. Something was missing. I started over, going much more slowly, and at the same time, reading several books. The other day I was reading at the gym (my version of multi-tasking) and I read a certain paragraph that completely got my mind spinning. In the fifteen minutes I had left on the elliptical machine, I was able to unlock the mystery to my own writing.

Join a critique group. Having available to you a group of trustworthy writers who are willing to read your work and be brutally honest can be invaluable to you. I’m not suggesting you allow anyone else to write your book for you. But others can tell you what they think is wrong with your work and how you might be able to improve it.

Write every day. Even if you only have five minutes to jot down a few thoughts as you sit in your car. Our brains—and thus our writing abilities—need exercise every bit as much as the other parts of our bodies. If we don’t use them often, they will shrink, and our abilities will fade away bit by bit until the voices in our heads become silent and the stories come to a halt. And always, always save what you write, even if you think its junk. You never know what nuggets of wisdom are buried in the mush.

Now that I’ve shared a bit of advice, I am passing this award on to: C.L. Beck, C. LaRene Hall, Keith Fisher, Darvell Hunt, and Gaynell Parker. You have all influenced my writing for the better with nearly two years of wonderful writing advive. For that I am forever greatful.

Stay tuned next week for a blog about last weekend’s Sci-fi/ fantasy symposium at BYU, “Life, the Universe, and Everything.”

Thanks for reading.


Cindy Beck, author said...

Thanks for the award. I'm tickled pink ... to match the award! :-)

Nichole Giles said...

I'm glad to know you're tickled pink...though you shouldn't feel like it's necessary to match the award because writers come in every color, shape and size.

Thanks for sharing your words.


G. Parker said...

Thanks Nicole! I needed that...

Nichole Giles said...

It was well deserved, G.