When I advise new writers (and sometimes experienced ones) I like to use information from experience and not necessarily what is in the latest books. And I am trying to follow through with the philosophy when I am cross-posting (or commenting on) articles. Even within a sub-genre, writers are such a diverse group that what works for one, either as a writing process or marketing, is an absolute torture or flop for another.
In that vein, I’m forwarding a guest post from the LiveWriteThrive blog by copywriter, editor, and educator Jessica Millis. As you can see from just the bio line, she comes with experience from various sides of the table, and what is perhaps the most important one–she is also a reader. Although I disagree with the statement that, “Most novels in the online and offline market today are garbage,” (mainly it is the word “Most” I object to,) her tips may not turn a bad novel into a best seller, but they are points to consider, especially for those with a novel inside them (that is still there after ten or twenty years.)
What I liked most is that she didn’t start off with the usual advice of “Write what you know.” And, all too often, her first tip to avoiding a total disaster as a novelist, “Don’t Spend Forever Gathering Material,” is all too accurate. One of the points I consistently make when I lecture authors on research is once you have a base, start writing. You don’t need to know everything about every era (or even one) before you begin to put words down on paper. If your character ends up visiting Notre Dame Cathedral and you had him originally going to London, when you come to a slow spot (aka writers block) dig up the basics for the placeholders you’ve left in the prose, research a unique detail or two, then continue on.
o the rest of Millis’s tips, go to http://www.livewritethrive.com/2014/04/21/5-tips-to-avoiding-total-disaster-as-a-novelist/.
What is your favorite tip to avoid disaster?
Till Next Time ~ Helen