Almost a half a billion. That’s how many books bestselling author Dean Koontz has sold in his prolific career. With over a hundred novels and novellas in his bibliography, many of which have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, he belongs in an exclusive group of writers—along with names such as Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and James Patterson.
Since many of his works fall into the horror and suspense genres, we thought this was a great time to see what this master could teach us about writing. So today, AuthorHouse presents the first three (of seven) tips from Dean Koontz for writing a bestseller:
Writing tips aren’t carved in stone. There is a limitless amount of writing advice out there from authors for authors on every aspect of the process. Much of this advice is valuable, but seldom is it for everyone. As Koontz says, “When reading how-to tips from any writer, always remember that what technique or attitude works for him or her might be so alien to your creative nature that to adopt it unthinkingly will do you no good and might hamstring you.” In short, be open to advice, but only adopt it if it works for you, and your writing style.
Don’t use outlines, unless… Koontz says that his writing improved greatly when he stopped using outlines; however, he admits to knowing many successful writers that outline in great detail before starting their novel. This is a perfect time to put Tip #1 into practice! If outlines help you organize your thoughts, go ahead and use them. If they constrain you, then don’t! There’s no one size that fits all!
Overcome self-doubt. Most writers suffer from some amount of self-doubt, but you have to make sure that it doesn’t paralyze you at the keyboard. In Koontz’s case, he combated the problem by editing each page as he went along, “… ten times, twenty times, whatever–until I am unable to make it flow more smoothly or invest it with more tension. Only then do I move on to the next page. Of course, the doubt returns page by page, but after a while, I have a stack of pages about which my doubts have been allayed, and I can move forward with increasing confidence.”
We’ll present the remaining four tips later this month. Dean Koontz’s books are available in bookstores worldwide, both online and in brick-and-mortar bookstores.
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