When I wrote my draft for my first novel in 1976, I couldn’t have imagined that writing was what I wanted to do since my childhood. I wrote that first draft in three months, at night when the family had gone to bed. I began my second draft, but with a promotion and a new role in the organisation I found time was the obstacle to finishing my first novel. It wasn’t until I retired in 2008 that I now had time to finish what I started. Why am I telling you all this?
I want to promote the learning of the writing craft. I cannot stress enough how important this is in becoming a writer. My first novel, looking back, is not that good. I know the reasons behind that, but it shows in the writing profession you must invest in the learning and editing process, which is so crucial to succeed.
It has been twenty-four years since I started my writing journey on a full-time basis, and I have taken writing courses and talked with other writers who have given me expert advice which I sincerely appreciate. Most important tool a writer must have is the writing software. I use a very sophisticated software that organises my chapters and scenes, well that’s normal you say, but the difference is it enables you to set the plot structure, records the character names and their background, events, locations, and props. Working on my current novel, I have realised how sophisticated the program really is and the value it adds to developing the plot and characters.
I use other programs to assist me in preparing my work for publication. These programs check and highlight errors in my writing that help in my learning process. I learn something new every day which makes my work that bit better.
So, my message to all budding writers is to learn the profession, soak up everything you can, remembering that for some it takes that bit longer to succeed. I hope this has helped. I wish you well and the best in your endeavours.
Angelo Mifsud, author of the novels; Inheritance, Deception, and The Reluctant Spy. Also, the author of the Indexes for the Bonsai Magazines; Bonsai Focus and International Bonsai, and the vehicle and touring record book.