Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Writing Advice

Well, this is a very broad topic. I'm going to make this pretty general.

A list of things you SHOULD/MUST do:

1. Never give up. This is big - if you can't finish it, move on or change it, but don't give up on your writing unless you've been brainwashed by zombies to hate writing.
2. Keep your characters interesting and real. I (and 98% of the rest of humanity) can't stand flat, boring characters.
3. Include a background to your story; not just setting, but why things are as they are. Include who, what, when, where, why, and how. You can't just put what, when, and where.
4. Love your work. Have fun. Find beauty in the words. Even in writer's block, look at the simple beauty of language and writing, and smile.
5. Let your dreams be just as real as your writing. Let your emotions be just as real as your characters. Let your family and friends be just as real as your imagination.

A list of things you SHOULD NOT do if you value your life and/or self-esteem:

1. Don't be obviously cliche. It's like a crutch: it's okay in the first draft, but eventually your writing has to stand up on its own without looking cliche.
2. Don't let zombies brainwash you into hating writing. That's a tragedy worse than anything Shakespeare could have come up with.
3. Never plagorize. That's very uncreative, and people will catch you and tie you to a stake and leave you for the wild beasties of the night. *Ahem* Or at least thunk you over the head with your book.
4. Don't be normal, and don't let your character be, either. I went to a church event back in January, called Acquire the Fire - the entire theme was "Normal is Not Enough!" Live by those words.
5. Never, for the sake of all that's good and pure, put the almost right word. There's a big difference between skinny and emaciated. Between indigo and dark blue. Between strolling and sprinting.

In other words, be creative and fun. Love your writing and never let it go. Don't be unfun, uncreative, and a work-stealer.

Another few things:

Read a lot. And don't stick to just one genre; love general fiction, fantasy, science-fiction, romance, paranormal, adventure, dystopian, YA novels, children's books, adult series. Love nonfiction and facts and research. Love the sounds the words make. Love it all, until you feel like it'll drown you if you don't write/type them into a whole new existence.

Experiment with your writing. I admit, I have trouble on this one - but playing it safe leads to a boring book. If you add something new, it interests you and the reader. Add a crazy character! Change your plot drastically! Turn your MC into a unicorn! Make it take place in space instead of New York! Change it from first person to third person! Make it in future tense!

Put yourself in your character's shoes. Unless they need them, of course. And I'm not asking you to go kill a dragon or fall in love with a vampire (unless he actually drinks human blood and doesn't sparkle). I just want you to imagine doing them, and how you'd feel. We will know you ignored this advice if your character is happy and laughing in a hostage negotiation (unless they're hyped up on drugs).

Push through to the end of the book. I know I said earlier you can move on, but that's kind of relative. I mean, if you change the plot enough because your original idea didn't work, didn't you already move on and create a whole new book? The content of your story is a delicate balance; when you make a major change, you've already made a major change to the ending. You've made a major change to that entire world.

This is pretty good for improvisation. (I really should think more before I post these posts.) Anyways, have a blessed week and happy writing! <3


  1. Excellent post! This is some great advice.

    And I'm definitely going to try writing a story in future tense.

  2. Annie: What is even future tense? O.o Is it like saying "I will do that."?

    And I agree, excellent post! And I like that name of that church. It sounds cool.


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