Posted by: mygentlecloud | January 18, 2007

Learning points

My book, Through The Storm, was born on 23rd Jan 2005, on a direct flight from Singapore to LA, enroute to Orlando. With fifteen hours and having finished a book I’ve bought, I penned my first two chapters and the flight turned out to be a breeze.

I finished Through The Storm in four months. It took me another twenty to get it to print. Hence lies the first of my learning points.

Writing is all about rewriting. How much rewriting depends on how skilled you are in writing. It is inversely correlated.  The more you know how to write, the less rewriting you need to do. In my case, I wrote using what I later learned as an omniscient POV (point of view). After such nudges from reviewers, I rewrote using third-party POV. The reading experience is more involved and intense if the third-party POV is well-handled. To know more about this, grab a good book on writing and learn what it is. It can save you some time in rewriting.

Among other things, you’ll learn to ‘show’, not ‘tell’. Again, this was learned after some kind reviewers pointed out the weakness in ‘telling’.  If you study your own reaction when you read a book, you will find that you feel more satisfied when you arrive at a conclusion ‘yourself’. You don’t like to be spoonfed i.e. told that this man is sad. You want to ‘see’ his face, his body and his actions and conclude for yourself that he is sad.  eg. Sighing. Head bowed. Shoulders slumped etc.

Okay, second learning point.

Join a writing site to get objective reviews.  If you write in isolation, you will never know how your story is received by readers. Friends can be your reviewers. But, they are often too kind to be good for you. So, join a site for writers and over time, cultivate writing buddies who will be able to help you and you return the favor likewise.

Third learning point

Get plugged in to the writers’ circle. It is good exposure. You never know who you will meet. It is good exposure. I met someone who does audio stories for children as a result of posting something on a writers’ forum. If you have not done so, join BookCouncil as a member. Their website is  A lot of useful information is there, including printers and publishers and bookshops. They also organize book readings, writers’ meetings and writing classes. Very good for aspiring writers.

Finally, read a lot. Read books with a view to learning their writing styles, what works and what doesn’t.

Su Yin



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