Hey guys! Today, I've got some writing tips drawn from the life of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader of Star Wars fame. After all, who's better to learn from about writing than one of the most famous archetypal dark lords? His heroic arc is awesome. So here we go!
1) Believe in yourself. If you don't, it's hard to start a writing project, let alone commit. Shoo those doubts away, and go be the Chosen One.
2) Hone your skills as much as you can, in all kinds of contexts, alone and with others. It's through practice that one becomes a writing Jedi. Even kid Anakin was already testing his intelligence with creating C-3PO and his own podracer before the Jedi met him.
3) Make friends. If you're gonna make it as a writer, you need a support team. They don't all have to be other writers or even readers. But you'll want people who will stand by you as well as people who can very politely (or sarcastically) tell you about all your mistakes after reading your drafts.
4) Find a mentor. Find someone who knows more about the publishing world than you to join your support team. At the least, follow blogs by these knowledgeable Jedi people. Some of them may someday also become your friends, even if they're wary of your youthful enthusiasm at first.
The sass is strong with this one.
5) Keep your emotions under control. It's good to have the feels when you're writing, but be sure you can control them enough to get the job done. In other words, while your characters should become independent beings of their own will, they shouldn't control you.
6) Sometimes, people just have to die. Kill your darlings, and all that. Some character are gonna have to die, some great lines will have to be edited out, even full scenes will go away. And you will love them and you will be sad, but it's all part of a greater plan, right? Everything has to balance.
7) Support your critique partners, just as you ask them to support you. One of the things that enrages me most about Anakin's transformation into Vader is the part that the other Jedi, most particularly Mace Windu, play into it. Like, can y'all calm down and help a brother out? That's your job, isn't it? Others disagree, of course, but Mace just ticks me off.
8) Remember that developed characters have both bad and good to them. Breathe in the complexities. Embrace them. They will bring your character into a new life. Most of all, whatever the character's actions, they must have a reason. As many others have said, villains often don't think they're the villain.
9) Don't ever go thinking you know everything. Nobody in the world knows everything. You're going to have to work hard, and research, and learn your whole life through. Don't go stabbing Obi-Wans and expecting that to be the end of it when you have no idea what's on the other side.
10) Be original, but remember that the writers who have gone before you have value. Read their work. Learn from them. Do understand the patterns and the way stories work before you go breaking the rules. Honor what's come before you, good and bad.
11) Find the good in your work, even as you let the bad go. Everything you write, in the end, helps your writing career. Even if those first few tries are terrible. Even if there are tries after that which are terrible. Sometimes, you can pull an idea from one of your trunked novels for a later work that's much better. Every time, there's a lesson that will bring balance to your writing in the long wrong. Mistakes lead to success, in the end.
That's it! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time for Top Ten Tuesday!
Images via moviepilot.com, starwars.com, empireonline.com, Buzzfeed, xenomorphs.co.vu, starwarscouples on DeviantArt, ifunny.co, nerdwars.blog.br, picofunny.com, scifi.stackexchange.com, and mikeluv80 on DeviantArt.
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