1. w176

    w176 Contributor Contributor

    Jun 22, 2010
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    LuleƄ, Sweden

    List o advice you given over and over again

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by w176, Mar 4, 2011.

    I struck me that i got a bunch of maybe 5-6 advices I give over and over again in this forum. And i suspect the rest of you feel the same. Perhaps we could turn this into some kind of resource for new visitors. So...

    List the of advices you given over and over again in this forum.
  2. Halcyon

    Halcyon Contributor Contributor

    Apr 19, 2010
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    Good idea, Elin.

    Although I wonder how useful a resource it will be, given that it will almost certainly become filled with contradictory advice.

    As far as novel writing is concerned, my three main pieces of advice on here have always been...

    Set aside a suitable time and place for writing, and develop a routine.

    Have a well-developed, though not rigid, plot for your novel before you begin, but don't be afraid to deviate from it if you believe that it can be improved by doing so.

    Write about what you know from personal knowledge and experience, and where this isn't possible, research your subject diligently.

    I could suggest many more, but those three are absolutely fundamental. :)
  3. Islander

    Islander Contributor Contributor

    Jul 29, 2008
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    • It doesn't matter that much what your story idea / character idea / world building idea is: it's how you write it, not what you write.
    • You need to have the confidence to write what you want. Don't worry about making your characters the wrong race, the wrong sexual orientation, or writing about controversial subjects like religion or sexual abuse. If you handle it with reasonable care and don't stick it in the story just to be controversial or for cheap thrills, most people won't take offense. Some people will take offense no matter what you do. Learn to ignore them.
    • Don't worry about how to publish your book and earn buckets of money until you have actually written it. And it's not likely you will make very much money even if you're very good.
    • The writing industry is not collapsing. It's adapting to new circumstances. There will be people reading books, and ways to make money on writing, in the future too. A writer may need to earn most of their money from secondary goods and services, like selling signed copies and holding lectures, but that's no different from how most music artists earn their money.
    • To be a good writer, you need to learn the basic techniques (spelling, grammar and punctuation, storytelling, descriptions, characterisation, pacing, point of view, etc) and practice, practice, practice. Opinions seem to be divided on how important it is to read; some think that reading the great masters will go a long way towards learning their techniques, while others think theory and practise is the most efficient way to learn.
    • A little goes a long way with regards to swear words, grammatical errors, dialects, pauses and broken sentences in dialogue, etc. Use it sparingly, and the reader will get the idea. Use it too much, and it will get tiresome to read.
    • Don't get so caught up in world-building that you lose sight of the story. When you've spent weeks and weeks carefully planning your world, it's tempting to show off all that work to the reader, but the reader is generally more interested in the story. Let your efforts at world-building shine through by making your story more nuanced and realistic, but don't push them on the reader.
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