I’ve spent a lot of time writing. I’ve been writing since the fifth grade. I’ve been writing for over half of my life.
I believe inspiration for writers directly influences their ability to write: the market is saturated with Twilight spinoffs and young first-time writers diving into the foray with stories they believe could make a difference in the world. The difference between most of what I see now and what I’ve read from the past is the focus: cerebral or visual.
Most new writers write visually–myself included. By visually, I mean they write like they’re recounting a movie, or dream. The difference between a good writer and a great one–the kind that stands the test of time–will break the boundaries of a “visual” book and a “cerebral” book.
Most new writers (and I’ve been spending a lot of time at This Site for reasearch/study) spend so much time writing how they visualize their favorite cartoons, or how they want their imagined romance to turn out through physical means only. They don’t spend much time in the person’s head.
I write fantasy. I don’t care what I read, as long as it feels true. As long as it feels real and believable. It can be dry, it can be violent, it can be complex or simple. It must feel real. Even the fantasy. Even the science fiction. So many fresh writers–and well-published ones nowadays–write weak on the details of the mind, and the thought process.
I’m not saying all books need this. I’m saying most books in most genres lack this. Some of the greatest fantasy writers spend so much time on environment, on sociopolitical strategy/politics, on the hierarchical structure of magic (or whatever their focus is), but they all delve deeply inside their characters’ reasons, intents, and motivations.
Advice for new, or unpublished writers–myself included–write the insides of people. Write the inside out. If all you do is talk about what the characters’ do, you’re writing a movie. Even if the character is a laconic ex-marine war vet that is on a mission to save his daughter, he’s got a WORLD of thoughts going on in his head. The quieter people have more. Believe me. The louder people have plenty, too. Only vegetables in hospitals don’t have anything going on inside their heads, and (unless you’re really gifted) don’t make for much of a story.