View Full Version : Greatest Advice
January 30th, 2006, 02:49 PM
Writers love great advice. Writers really love great advice that changes their style. It is by my thoughts on the matter that I post a thread where anyone can post up a bit - or several bits - of advice they recieved from a mentor or friend on writing that changed the way they thought about writing. Whether or not it's roughly what they said, it would be a great help to many, I am sure. Besides, if it changed you, it can change someone else.
"Watch out what you put in your writing, because even the slightest mistake can make everything else look different. I had a mistake in one of my books that I missed several times. My wife read through it and missed it, the editors read through it and missed it, and they published the book with that mistake in it. It wasn't until a long while after that I saw it, and I slapped my forehead in surprise" - John Morressy
"I really shouldn't even be here, mentoring you. I mean, what would I do, really?" - John Morressy
January 30th, 2006, 02:58 PM
"Your creative writing course tutors have sadly over stated their opinions of your potential talent."
~ My first rejection letter that was actually personally written, not rubber stamped by a publisher. (I was 15! And it was for my first novel length manuscript)
January 30th, 2006, 04:15 PM
Some advice I have had over the years from one gentleman;
The author Peter Morwood (his lady wife is Diane Duane)
If you get it right, 1 person in 1000 will praise you for it - but if you get it wrong, 995 people will write/fax/email/phone to point the error out, and the other 5 will track you down and tell you face to face. But not one of them will tell you how to fix it...
Write as if the reader knows the technical jargon, explain enough in text and especially dialogue so that some things *are* explained and let the rest go by. This *impression* of understanding works better than a technical lecture which slows the plot to a standstill.
January 30th, 2006, 11:53 PM
when i started writing my teacher told me,
JUST B YOURSELF while writing and u ll know what does it mean to b a writer.
January 31st, 2006, 12:30 AM
"You're not Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, or Robert Jordan, but at one point neither were they."
"When you think you've re-drafted enough, do it three more times."
January 31st, 2006, 06:29 AM
"Stop talking and start listening."
Or, more succinctly:
...And yes, I still need to remind myself of that one now and again...
January 31st, 2006, 06:40 AM
'When someone tells you "It's not you... it's me," personally, I believe them... because I am f****n awesome!'
January 31st, 2006, 08:41 AM
The best piece of advice I ever received was from the great man himself - George R.R. Martin - in an email he sent to me.
"Start small. If you've just taken up mountain-climbing, you don't want to tackle Everest first."
January 31st, 2006, 03:53 PM
"A detective digs around in the garbage of people's lives. A novelist invents people and then digs around in their garbage." -- Joe Gores
"Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't." -- Mark Twain
"The only good author is a dead author." -- Patrick O'Connor (book editor)
"In six pages I can't even say 'hello.'" -- James Michener
"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." -- W. Somerset Maugham
"Why don't you write books people can read?" -- Nora Joyce to her husband James
"I felt like poisoning a monk." -- Umberto Eco on why he wrote the bestseller "The Name of the Rose"
"Never argue with people who buy ink by the gallon." -- Tommy Lasorda
"Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers." -- T.S. Eliot
"Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Writing seems to me very often a question of faith, of staying true to that little flame no matter what threatens to blow it out." – Alison Croggon
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." – Samuel Beckett
"Art is a human activity, consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of external signs, hands on to others feelings he has worked through, and other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them."
"A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper." – Ursula LeGuin
February 1st, 2006, 03:55 AM
The very first person your writing has to delight is you. Anyone else is a bonus.
(Don't know who might have said that sort of thing originally but it's great advice... if your work bores you, it bores everyone).
A writer writes.
(As the anti writer's block zealot, I point at this all the time. Doesn't matter what you write so long as you do.)
Get dressed every morning.
(Rob Grant telling me the first thing on the agenda when you go full time)
When you're drafting, always have three scenes planned: the one you're finishing today; the one you're starting today and finishing tomorrow and the one you're starting tomorrow.
(David Gemmell. And it works, I promise you. Happy to expand on this idea if anyone wants me to)
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