Guest Post: Writing 101 (Just One More Perspective) by Tallis Piaget

Hello, My name is Tallis Piaget and I am the author of Black Boogiemen.  Though most congratulate me for publishing my first book, this feat is not what I am most proud of.  Yes, writing a 280p novel is quite an accomplishment, but there is something else that I’m far happier about.  It’s writing a 280 page novel that people love.  That is what separates me from the pack!

The following will be a brief explanation on how I completed my goal, and why my book is different than so many others out there.  I will also ask you to look deep within yourself and see if becoming an author is truly attainable.  I am a nice person but I am also brutally honest.  I will speak the truth.  Continue reading and hopefully these truths will set you free.

I had an idea… It reverberated inside my skull at times impeding my ability to grasp words.  The idea needed expulsion or I risk loosing my touch with reality.   What should I do?  What did do? I wrote!  You see, I am that clichéd black male that grew up in inner city hardship.  My life is fraught with the stereotypical plights that plague most urban youth: teenage, unwed mother, absent father, poverty, drugs, gangs, violence, death, etc…  This environment is not conducive to a young, intelligent mind.  In turn, I needed an escape.  TV provided some brief bouts of serenity, yet it was far too superficial for my inquisitive mind.  I needed more… ideas with depth… stories that didn’t wrap themselves up in perfect little two hour blocks.  That is when I started reading, and shortly thereafter, writing.  So I wrote out of necessity for had I not, the “Dark” would have consumed me.  Needless to say, I maintained my sanity, excelled in academics, and eventually got my degree in biochemistry.  As previously mentioned, I have always written, but I have only recently published my first peace of material.  Shortly after publishing my book I became the executive editor of a magazine (Insight2Incite) and co-host of a radio talk-show.  I am now living my dream.  Not only did I write a book, I wrote a book that people love!

OK, after reading through my monologue, if you feel I am someone that could possibly offer beneficial advice, you have come to the most important part of the blog. Advice time:

  1. If you want to be a writer, you must write.  (This is so obvious, it’s elusive)
  2. You will never be a good writer if you are not reading good books. (This again is simple but so true)
  3. Learn the basic rules to writing. If your work is riddled with errors, it becomes an arduous task to read.  (The only tough read should be homework)
  4. Please edit.  This can not be stressed enough.  You edit, have friends edit, teachers need to edit, parents… I think you get my point.  (Again, mistakes cause potential readers to close your book)
  5. Get beta-readers. (These are random folks you get to read your book. Preferably people that enjoy reading)
  6. Keep your ego in check.  Your beta-readers will return with suggestions.  Do not be offended, and do not discount their opinions.  (Adding their tweaks may be the difference between selling 100 books and selling 100 thousand books.)
  7. Finally… edit… Yep again.  After writing my book, I realize this is what has set “Black Boogiemen” apart from most other self published material (and of course the controversial story).  Edit, edit, edit.

Now what follows is the last bit of honesty I need to provide.  It’s very critical.  I’m starting off with an analogy, so just follow along (It will make sense once you’ve finished).

I love great music.  I often watch classic videos of histories greatest singers, Marvin Gaye being my favorite.  After watching this man melt the microphone with his silky voice, I fantasize about being on that stage and belting out perfect notes over the loud speaker as well.  The problem is I can not.  I can practice and practice, but I do not have the innate ability to excel in that area.  I make my point now.  So many of us would love to sing, but so few of us can actually do it well.  Writing is akin to this idea.  So many of us would love to write, but so few of us can actually do it well.  I know… I know… that is cruel.  I am not here to crush your dreams, but I am here to present a logical, pragmatic perspective to your writing endeavor.

The aforementioned only applies to people that are attempting to make money with their writing.  My message to the people that write for the love; never stop… that is art in its purest form.  So you must ask yourself, what is your goal?  Do you write for the love, or are you writing to get paid (or both)?  It doesn’t matter.  Your quest should always be to improve whatever craft you embark upon, less you remain in the fray like so many others that halfheartedly pursue their dreams.  Farewell my new friends, and I leave you with some reiterations:

  1. Read good books, this is a must for all good writers.
  2. Write, edit, write, edit, write etc…
  3. Always attempt to improve your craft (your writing should get better as you mature. Never stay stagnant in any profession!)
  4. Finally (this is new), be original.  There are very few original thinkers left in this world.  Be one, think outside the box.  Make me want to read your story because there is nothing out here like it.

Well I can go on forever, but I will end it here.  I hope reading this information helped in some way.  And while doing whatever it is you do, just always remember, “To thine own self be true” – Shakespeare.   Stay tuned…

Connect with Tallis:




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