Even if you’re writing in the third-person rather than the first-person, it’s a good idea to stick to just one character’s perspective in any given scene or passage – this is called “third-person limited” or sometimes “deep POV” and contrasts with the “third-person omniscient” viewpoint that’s typical of classic 19 century literature.
Readers expect this close third-person perspective, and it allows you to give the thoughts and viewpoint of one character at a time – helping the reader to identify with that person and to really understand them.
So don’t get too caught up in reading: make sure you’re also setting aside time to try out writing exercises, or to develop your own ideas.
If you’ve never written much before, launching straight into a novel probably won’t work: either you’ll run out of steam within a few chapters, or you’ll keep writing but you’ll end up with a story that needs an awful lot of work to make it publishable.
As a beginner, you’re in a great position to try out lots of different types of writing, without needing to commit to one in particular: no-one’s (yet! So have a go at a wide range of genres and styles – you might surprise yourself with what you enjoy.
I never set out to be a freelancer (my writing dreams were all about being a novelist) …It’s better to hone your skills on smaller projects first: think short stories if you’re a fiction-writer, or short articles or blog posts if you’re a non-fiction writer.These can be a great way to explore potential ideas and topics without committing to a book-length work straight away.When you’re just getting started, you might feel excited but also a little daunted – where should you begin? The great thing about writing is that whatever stage you’re at, you can keep growing your skills and honing your craft.This applies whether you’re a total beginner or a best-selling author: there’s always something new to learn or try.If you use the same word repeatedly within a short space of time, it can start to stand out for the reader and become a distraction from your writing.This is particularly true of unusual words (I read a novel recently by an author with a particular liking for the word “stolid”).While I’m a huge fan of words, and love the sound of some more unusual ones ( is one of my favourites! I think that as a writer, it’s normally best to keep things simple.Even if, in school, you got extra marks for showing off your impressive vocabulary, readers frankly don’t care!but ten years into freelancing, I still love it, and I’ve written and published three novels too. Weiland’s blog blog is a great read, as is Joanna Penn’s book How to Write Non-Fiction.There are some brilliant books and blogs out there that’ll teach you the basics of writing (and much more): Daily Writing Tips is a great place to begin, of course! One trap that beginner writers sometimes fall into, though, is that they read and read, trying to learn everything there is to know about writing – but they don’t actually write!