Every author runs into it from wannabes and earnest new writers — Do you have any tips on how I can write…?
I usually do my best to offer good advice, frequently offering this:
“Nothing is EVER finished – but you have to know when to let go. It won’t be perfect. Not EVER. Live with it. Get your story as good as you can and then let it step out into the world to seek its fortune. Hope it sends you a postcard to show you how it’s doing.”
That’s it. But it took me a score of books and a few million words to really recognize the truth of it. And between you and me, I sometimes have a hard time practicing what I preach.
A couple of years back, Buzzfeed offered “33 Essential Tips for Aspiring Writers” (link at end) and I particularly liked this:
33. “Ignore all lists of writing tips. Including this one…every time you hear a writing tip, you have to decide whether it means something to you, resonates with you, or (it’s) the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard. It’s your book, you need to learn to write it your way. Now please signore this advice. – Marcus Sedgwick, author of The Ghosts of Heaven and others
And this: images.unsplash.com
07. First drafts are always horrible and ugly. Don’t worry about that – it’s the same for everyone…if you keep redrafting, one day you will look at your horrible book and realise that you’ve turned it into something actually quite beautiful. – Robin Stevens, author of the Murder Most Unladylike series
My blog is filled with writing advice actually. Do a keyword search (magnifying glass symbol at top right) or check my blog archives.
See all the advice at Buzzfeed HERE
Reading tips from a century ago
More than a 100 years ago, a former American president, Theodore Roosevelt, wrote a piece for Ladies Home Journal that offered some excellent tips, not on writing, but on reading.
He typically read around a book a day himself and was often reading several books at once. He was no fan of best book lists and also warned readers that they “should beware of the booklover’s besetting sin, of what Mr. Edgar Allan Poe calls ‘the mad pride of intellectuality,’ taking the shape of arrogant pity for the man who does not like the same kind of books.”
He, however, was a man of his time and was quite a prude. It’s likely he would have been appalled at “50 Shades of Grey’, and would perhaps have had ‘arrogant pity; for those who read it.
His reading tips are HERE
Quote of the Day
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury