Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Writing Advice

Here's the thing, there's a lot of writing advice out there. Tons. Do a simple Google search and millions of results will ring right up. However, here's the question: how do you know which advice is worth following? For me, this is so subjective, but I do have a way that helps me narrow down which advice to follow, so I thought I'd share it with you.

1) Is the advice from a credible source (publisher, editor, agent, published/agented author, intern, literary critic, master craftsman, teacher, etc, etc, etc.)? This will help weed out a lot of the well meaning but inexperienced people offering advice. Yes, they might have great advice, but better to start off with credible, reliable sources.

2) Reference books on craft by established writers/authors. Will they all agree? No. But are they a good place to start? Yes. I like Donald Maass's books, and Stephen King's. The head of my agency (Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann Agency UK) has a great craft book, too. Read around and see what appeals to you.

3) Do you like what the person writes? If they're published, check out their work. If they're a friend...check out their work. Most authors are more than happy to share a snippet of their own work if you're interested in seeing it, and it can help you decide whether their techniques and craft skills will be something that will benefit you.

4) Follow your gut but be mindful. Don't confuse your gut instinct with inexperienced resistance. If you're sure it's not for you, let the advice go. If you're not sure, get the opinions of other people you trust.

So that's it. Pretty simple but it works for me. Hope it helps you in some way, too!

Happy writing!

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