*Prefer to watch the video? Scroll down to view my full interview with Kevin.
Happy May the fourth!!
Today I’m excited to chat with my writing coach Kevin T. Johns about all things writing craft. I first “met” Kevin when I signed up to receive emails about writing from him a few years ago. At that point, I knew I wanted to write a book but had done absolutely nothing to achieve that goal. So, I watched one of Kevin’s free webinars and signed up for a course he was offering called The Novel Writer’s Blueprint.
Through Kevin’s class, I learned there are many elements to writing a novel. Today, we touch on some of those elements as well as the secret to being a productive writer.
The power of story
The stories that impact us become a part of our lives and our culture. Of course, we couldn't do an interview on May the fourth and not talk about Star Wars! The impact Star Wars has had on our culture is epic and even though I’m not a die-hard Star Wars fan like the rest of my family, the the trash compactor scene in the original movie where Luke gets sucked into the sewer-like waters will forever haunt me. It gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!
So, how do you create a story that epic?
It starts with genre
In our interview, Kevin shares the first step to improving your writing: understanding genre. It’s important to understand the type of story you’re writing. If you set out to write a romance but nobody falls in love, your readers are going to be very upset with you.
When studying genre, you’ll notice that each genre has specific things that must happen in the story in order for it to be engaging. If you’ve read a lot of books, you will intuitively know these things already.
Get more specific with structure
If you want to dissect stories in order to understand the tools you need as a storyteller and get more “nerdy” about writing craft, Kevin suggests learning about story structure next.
Story structure is made up of the timing and sequence of events that take place in your novel. To develop your skills as a writer, you need to understand the tools at your disposal for crafting a great story, and story structure is an essential foundation on which to build your story.
Working with a writing coach
Working with a writing coach can help you accelerate the speed at which you improve as a writer, because your coach can give you personalized feedback by showing you your strengths and weaknesses.
Through his years as a writing coach, Kevin notes that many writers spend way too much time on their first draft. Your story isn’t going to be perfect the first time, so you shouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to make it that way. Get it drafted as quickly as you can then start editing.
How to get more done as a writer
This has to be one of the most common questions I see authors and writers asking online, so I had to ask Kevin about his experience going from writing the first book in his Page Turners series in eight years to writing the second book in only eight weeks.
Well, I have some bad news if you’re hoping there’s a secret to writing faster or better. Kevin’s secret is this: Butt in chair! You need to do the work, and in doing so, you will develop your own systems for getting more done. Like with any skill, you need to practice if you want to get better.
There is so much more Kevin and I talk about in the video. This post is really just a summary, so be sure and watch the video to see all of Kevin’s great advice!
Kevin is also the host of the Writer’s Craft Summit which you can watch for free from May 27-31, 2019. I’m proud to be an affiliate for the summit and honoured to be speaking about writing what you know on Day 3.
I hope you’ll join us in nerding out about writing craft!