What helped me start writing
I was always pushed to write when I was very young, given my active imagination. Later, I continued to write short stories and participated in Dungeons & Dragons (or other role playing games), as a Game Master – crafting stories of Monsters, Magic, and Mayhem.
That was really enjoyable and kept me writing in my spare time. I believe creating and adhering to various rules has helped me stay consistent with most story or plot-based mechanics.
How to deal with criticism
Assume the critic is correct in some perspective and consider how to better one’s writing.
If someone responds very poorly, they may not be interested in providing criticism but rather use the review process or a twitter / author contact response as an output for their own internalized-anger.
It is important to accept and understand that many who are unhappy project internalized-anger onto others, and into much that they do. Once one realizes this, it is easy to accept another individual for who they are and what they do, while not becoming annoyed or aggravated by their words.
Listening to Music while Writing
While this is a personal preference to listen periodically, it is not always best.
I often write in silence, but at times when specific scenes are benefited by listening to a theme song for them, I will listen to a specific set of music for the section. Often, this is non-voice and dramatic music intended for a specific sort of action or dark (creepy) sequence.
My favorite under-appreciated novel
“A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. LeGuin.
This book is an amazing adventure and depicts the struggles of Good and Evil, in vivid detail. It is a perfect book to demonstrate the need to accept the consequences for one’s actions, while learning how to cope with the grief of both failure and how to face one’s own demons.
If one has never read this book but enjoys fantasy, I believe it is critical to helping one see the critical nature of fear, and how well it works in this specific work of fiction.
What are the most important elements of good writing?
A story that can steal one away from the world and wrap them in a newfound reality is important. This means that integrating a Good Plot, Interesting Characters, Twists the reader never saw coming, and being Consistent in a Story is key.
Consistency means both keeping character behavior the same unless some development would sensibly change them, but also not pursuing a plot which would create holes in the story arc. At the same time, consistency also means not introducing new plot mechanics which could cause a reader to lose their ability to suspend disbelief (and take them out of the reality a writer creates.)
Is it best to write every day?
Yes, but not always on a specific project.
Personally I work on my blog, poetry, various short story concepts or stories for my paintings that are often posted on my blog.
When I am working toward publishing a project I absolutely work on it exclusively every single day, whether it is writing or editing. This can be tiring however and everyone should take a break periodically to gain new perspective when they return to a long and arduous work.
Where ideas come from
Myself, I take pieces of our own reality and twist them, shaping them into something that is similar but not as we would normally see in their original forms. This often makes for interesting and lively interactions, environments, and characters.
I am working on a few projects. One is a horrific book relating to one small place and terrifying ordeal that some must endure. A newcomer brings all sorts of terrible reasons to fear an otherwise uneventful country town.
Additionally, I’m also working on another piece relating to Fantasy; both Magic and Dragons.