Words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call it… here’s some food for thought! Have a great Sunday!
What most writers need is to believe in their own work. The writers need to finish a first draft, spellcheck it, and hand it to a trusted first reader who is not a writer.
Let me repeat that. The last thing you want is a writer as your first reader.
A writer will critique. A reader will tell you if the book is a good read or not.
Will the reader be able to tell you how to fix the book? Hell, no. That’s not a reader’s job.
Generally, if the book fails, especially in areas like pacing, then the best thing the writer can do is start over. From scratch. Without looking at the previous manuscript.
Because we’re storytellers, not writers. A manuscript is the coded tool that we use to tell stories across great distances.
I get a lot of questions about how I write so much. (And takes weeks at a time off as I am doing now.) My response lately has been that I never look back. I never fix or rewrite. I do the best job I can do when writing a story or novel, then when a story or novel is done, it is done. Period.
I march forward and move to the next story or novel. So while others get a few books done because of all the rewriting and trying to make a book perfect, I get a dozen simply because I am stepping forward all the time. I write clean and the best I can the first time through.
So I will repeat my general answer to various questions about what to do with old work, meaning finished work.
When in doubt, write the next story.
Q: So how do we survive this awful situation?
Joe sez: Easy.
1. Write good books. Books that readers love. Books they recommend to others.
2. Experiment. Try new things. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying.
3. Innovate. Start your own ebook company. Certainly some of you have ideas. Go do something about it.
4. Share what you know. That’s the point of life. Learning is only half the equation, you also have to pass it along so others can benefit.
If you don’t like how the way things are, do it yourself, and do it better.
Now I’m going to go back to writing. I suggest you do the same.
I want to wake up one morning and know how to write page one, or page 10, or page 250. But I never seem to know how to do it. Every book is different and takes a different structure, style, process, etc. And relearning how to write is where the insanity comes from.
– Sarah MacLean
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read
– Pliny the elder
The more you reason the less you create.
― Raymond Chandler