Monday, June 1, 2015

The Best Writing Advice I Know

I've been to a number of writing conferences, read a lot of books and articles on writing, taught writing classes to kids and adults, interviewed writers for my blog and chatted with fellow writers.

Basically, I've garnered lots of writing advice.

Some of it borders on ridiculous. I once saw a first-time published author on a panel at a conference tell a packed room of attendees that all novels must consist of ten scenes. (Even as a neophyte at the time, I knew that was bullshit.)

I've heard all sorts of methods. The "Five Draft Method", the "How to Write a (fill-in-the-blank) in 7 Easy Steps", etc.

The thing is we all have our different methods and means of writing. And just because one person wrote one or three dozen novels doesn't mean that what they do will work for you.

Sure there is good, even great advice; tips and tricks to make your writing smoother. But one writer's method is not sacrosanct, one writer's advice is not The Way. Maybe it worked for them. Maybe it's worth trying out (especially if you're stuck). You never know what might get that hand of yours moving across the page.

Reading books about writing can even recharge you and get you excited all over again to write. And that's wonderful.

But ultimately, you have to find your own way. Nothing is universal.


Except that old nugget followed by all the successful writers I know, which basically comes down to:

Ass in chair. Write.

Move that pen. Pound those keys.

Then rewrite.

That's what it all comes down to.

Oh yeah, and read. That's important, too.

Oh wait - don't take any wooden nickels. That's apparently important.
And whatever you do, do NOT count your chickens before they hatch, because hoo-boy, you will be sorry.

And perhaps also

because Wesley Snipes.

Just remember; ideas are a dime a dozen. Hell, a penny a dozen. It's the execution of an idea - crafting the story or novel around it - that's the hard part.

To sum up:

Ass. Chair. Write. Rewrite. Read.
* * * * * 

No comments:

Post a Comment