Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Very Basic Tips for Writers

And I do mean exceedingly basic. Too many times writers are flailing all over the place to figure out what to do next or what they SHOULD be doing or maybe what they WANT to be doing. So here are a few down and dirty really, really basic tips to try to stay on track.

1. Apply seat of pants to chair and write (wow, this one really IS very basic)

2. If you're fortunate enough to be in the zone where you have an editor, don't fight with said editor. Think about suggestions (other than punctuation and/or spelling), sift through them, find the gems, be appreciative for the input. Here's the thing, editors aren't monsters put on earth to harass you and make life miserable - at least most of them aren't, and well the few that are, the heck with them. But try not to think of it as a contest or a war - think of it more as collaboration. Cooperate, but remember, the editors, though mostly decent folk tying to do a good job, aren't always right.

3. Brush up on your English, presuming you're writing English. For Pete's sake, how do you think you can write if you don't even know what rules you can break?

4. Be on the look out for a mentor.

5. Become a mentor as your writing improves.

6. Write, edit, rewrite, repeat.

7. Follow me on twitter for some great writer-friendly and helpful sites.

8. When you're not writing - read - a lot!

9. People watch (don't be too obvious about this) to get ideas for characters.

10. Nature watch for ideas (you can be as obvious about this as you want).

11. Never, never, never let someone tell you you can't do it.

No doubt I'll come up with more basics, but that's it for today.


  1. Thanks for the advice. A good reminder that starting at the beginning is basic. Only focusing on the complex is overwhelming to a fledgling writer.

  2. You're welcome! Most of the time K.I.S.S. is the way to go.


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