Spoke with another satisfied reader of Murder Behind the Closet Door today. She's only 70-some pages into the book and is already hooked. Two comments she made gave me a very happy feeling inside. First, she said my writing was very descriptive, to the point that she could see the characters, the places they lived in, the Wildwood boardwalk. Second she compared my style to Stephen King's early works, which was not only a compliment by itself, it also made me smile because that's exactly the style I was going for in this book. Spooky, dark, mysterious with surprises in every chapter.
She also said she envied my ability to write. Another great compliment, and from a professional in the media industry, too. I thanked her a zillion times, but didn't go into detail as to how I got to this point in writing: practice. I've been writing for close to 30 years now, from when I was in school (I wrote several short stories and a full length musical-comedy before I graduated high school), through the 1990s where I wrote for The Atlantic City Press' At The Shore entertainment guide to the dozen or show comedy-murder mysteries for Stardust Productions. Along the way (and through the present) I've also done commercial and advertising copywriting, from tag lines to multiple-page brochures. And of course there are the blogs, including Tiki Lounge Talk.com and The Retro Tiki Lounge on Facebook.
Being a writer is more than just being creative. You've got to get those creative ideas down in a natural, flowing form that people will enjoy reading. It has to make sense, have a purpose, and be fun to read. Practice makes perfect. Knowing decent grammar and syntax helps too. When you can do all that, then you're a writer.