Monday, 8 May 2017

The Best Writing Advice I Ever Received


Writing can be a solitary adventure— which is exactly the way we writers like it!
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By nature, most writers are introverts and enjoy the company of being alone with their characters. But every once in a while we need a little wisdom to help us along this winding path to the bookstore shelves.

I’ve been writing for ten years and have published seven novels. Over this time I’ve collected a few tidbits of advice. Some I’ve found through others and some are from my own experience. I hope one of these resonate with you.

1. Try to write every day even if it’s only one page. All those pages add up and it helps foster the habit of getting words on paper in a timely fashion.


2. Write the book of your heart and take as long as you need.


3. Ignore trends. Write what you love, what you want to read.


4. Don’t edit while you’re writing. This is the most free your writing will be, let it flow. Even misspelled words, leave them there. It’s all about moving forward.


5. You are writing for your characters. You are the only one who knows their story.


6. Be grateful for the gift of imagination.


7. Writing is hard. Respect it as such.


8. Even though it may appear differently, there is no such thing as an easy success, no matter how famous the writer. Remember that we’re all in the same industry and we want it to be thriving.


9. Don’t forget about the weather.

10. When in doubt, add a food scene.

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Do you have any writing advice to share?


24 comments:

  1. Love it! I also like Nora Roberts' advice to sit your butt in the chair...Claire Marti

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  2. I like Anne Lamott's advice to write "shitty first drafts." (By which she means write fast and save editing for later. Don't let perfectionism stifle you.)
    I also like Stephen King's advice (well there's some confusion about who said it first, but most say Stephen King) to "kill your darlings." I take "darlings to mean those self-conscious passages that are sooo special, you just love love love them (but also so special they detract from the whole). I don't go looking for darlings so I can kill them, but when I face having to delete something I really like for writerly reasons, I remember that advice and it makes it easier.
    Judy Meadows www.judymeadows.com

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    1. Thanks, Judy, I like these, too. Whenever I take out scenes or even characters I love, I put them in a file with hopes of using them in another story. It just makes the editing less painful. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. This is excellent advice. Thank you for sharing it. I need a nudge now.

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  4. Great post. #5 really spokento me. Thanks.

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  5. *spoke (see what fast typing does to me)

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    1. Ha! You were in first draft mode ;)

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  6. Wonderful advice. I was glad to read your list, because #2 resonated with me. It's what I'm been thinking as I ponder about starting a new project.

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    1. Glad it helped, Judy! I struggle with this one as well. I'm not sure why we think we need to produce books so quickly.

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  7. I loved all of these ... though this one is one my mentor has often told me: 5. You are writing for your characters. You are the only one who knows their story.

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    1. One of my fav's too. Thanks for dropping by!

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  8. Hi Daphne. Love the simplicity of your post, it really resonates. And I too love to use food as a distraction. Nothing better than your characters engaging in heavy dialogue over a delicious meal in a restaurant, especially when the waitress interrupts a heated moment.

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    1. Thanks, Anni. Food adds another element to the scene, doesn't it.

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  9. Excellent post. Thanks for #2. Sometimes it gets tedious explaining why it takes so long to write something that someone can read in a sitting.

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  10. Great advice. We all need to follow your rules. Thank you for writing this.

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  11. All these resonate with me, too! Thanks. Had to smile at #13. It's what I tend to do, too. My character, Cam, in one of my series is a fast food woman, so she tends to do drive-thrus as well as a favorite restaurant.

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  12. Most resonate. Number 10 was new for me. Hmmm. love it!

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    1. well, correction - I do food scenes all the time, but didn't think of it this way. Love it. :) I also like to toss in a scene that makes the characters real - like having to use the bathroom...even if it's just "after relieving herself behind a rock..."

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    2. Food, like the weather, can add so much to a scene. Thanks, Jean.

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