Episode 87 Writing Tips for First Time Writers & StoryBilder with Tanya Gough
Tanya Gough, a multifaceted talent with experience in a range of fields, including ESL teaching, retail store ownership, and digital marketing, has now established herself as the founder of Story Builder, a creative writing platform designed for new and aspiring writers. With a passion for middle-grade fantasy fiction and science-infused fantasy short stories for adults, Tanya's diverse background showcases her expertise in various industries. As a guest on the PublishHer Podcast, she shares invaluable writing tips for first-time fiction writers, encouraging them to embrace the importance of play in the writing process and to accept that the first draft will not be perfect.
Through her journey with writing, Tanya Gough has not only developed a platform to help emerging writers, but has also uncovered a powerful approach to storytelling – one that encourages play, exploration, and breaking the rules. Little did she know, this new approach would revolutionize her writing process, transforming her stories and spurring her to inspire a new generation of authors.
Lean into your first draft not being great. Use it as an opportunity to play and experiment, and figure out what your story actually is. – Tanya Gough
This is Tanya Gough's story:
Tanya Gough's journey with storytelling began at a young age when she discovered her passion for writing. She quickly learned that the process of writing fiction was vastly different from nonfiction, and that it required a unique approach to structure and character development. Her determination to understand the art of storytelling led her to create StoryBilder, a platform designed to help emerging writers embark on their creative journey. By focusing on structure and embracing the freedom to break things and experiment, Tanya found a way to connect with her stories on a personal level, allowing her to enjoy the process and truly engage with her characters.
In this episode, you will learn how to:
1. Establish solid foundations by generating clear ideas and direction for your stories.
2. Infuse an element of playfulness into your creative writing process.
3. Tackle the anxiety of producing imperfect first drafts and focus on progress.
4. Optimize StoryBilder for a well-structured story development.
5. Leverage the power of short stories to sharpen your writing abilities.
Starting Your Novel
When beginning a novel, first-time writers should focus on having a clear vision of the story's main idea. This serves as a foundation for the plot, character development, and overall structure of the novel, helping the writer stay on track and avoid getting lost in the creative process. Knowing the direction of the story also allows the writer to maintain consistency and create a coherent narrative that engages readers. In the conversation with Tanya Gough, she emphasized that a strong concept is essential when starting to write a novel. Tanya suggested that writers should have a clear sense of the story's big picture, whether it's the plot, a character, or a particular theme. Having a guiding idea not only helps with story development but also keeps the writer focused and motivated during the writing process.
- Check out StoryBilder, a creative writing platform for new and aspiring writers, founded by Tanya Gough.
- Embrace the fact that your first draft will be terrible and use it as an opportunity to experiment and play with your story.
- Use a working outline or structure to guide your writing process and keep you on track.
- Be open to changing and breaking things in your story to see what happens and to find interesting narrative details.
- Consider using specific software tools, such as Scrivener, to help you organize and manage your writing process.
- Join writing groups or communities to connect with other writers and gain support and feedback on your writing.
- Attend writing conferences or workshops to learn new skills and network with industry professionals.
- Use social media and other online platforms to promote your writing and connect with readers.
- Don't be afraid to ask for reviews, feedback, or support from friends, family, or other writers in your network.
- Always include specific CTAs, such as links to your book, website, or social media profiles, in your writing and marketing materials.
00:14:16 – About StoryBilder, Tanya Gough introduces StoryBilder, a writing platform she built for newer and emerging writers. It includes a story engine for world-building, character building, and a writing area for creating the story from start to finish. There's also a toolbox, education pieces, and a public library full of characters and maps from classic literature that writers can borrow and adapt.
00:19:03 – How Short Stories Help Writers, Tanya Gough discusses the importance of writing short stories for novelists. She explains that writing a tight short story helps writers hone their skills in story arc and language. Writing short stories also helps writers develop story ideas that they can expand into novels later.
00:22:51 – Short Story Contest, Tanya Gough announces a short story contest hosted by StoryBilder with over $4,000 in cash prizes. The theme is fear, and writers are encouraged to submit stories about spooky or scary experiences or stories about overcoming fear. There are three age groups and a grand prize of $1,000 for adult writers.
00:25:48 – Free Trial Offer, Tanya Gough offers a free one-month trial to writers who want to try out StoryBilder. Interested writers can go to Storybilder.com and use the coupon code WIP to start their free trial.
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