• Published a book you want to tell us about? Uploaded a YouTube video you want to share?

    Normally you'll need 100 posts to self-promote, but with an upgraded membership you can do so with your first post.

    Find out more here: Become a Supporting Member

Best Writing Advice Ever

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,761
Location
Highlands
I've recently had to write a lot of words each day as part of being a freelance writer. I've realized that I should apply it to my own writing, so that when I have time just push myself to write. As (I think it was) Neil Gaiman said, you can't edit a story to make it better if you haven't written any of it down in the first place. :)
 

HareBrain

Smeerp of Wonder
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
10,388
Location
West Sussex, UK
As (I think it was) Neil Gaiman said, you can't edit a story to make it better if you haven't written any of it down in the first place. :)
My favourite version of that: "You can edit crap. You can't edit blank."

But as has also been said, charging off into the wide blue yonder without any planning can lead to the story foundering in a bog, and the writer becoming exhausted and disillusioned. Everyone has to find what works best for them (which might not be what they originally thought would work best for them).
 

thaddeus6th

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Messages
6,511
Location
UK, Yorkshire
I've mentioned this before, but for Sir Edric's Temple (the first half of what is now The Adventures of Sir Edric) I had a start and end in mind, and pretty much made up what happened in between. It was very creative and mostly enjoyable did lead to some prolonged (for me) writer's block and very significant rewrites (the fourth chapter, the Tower of Uz-Talrak, is amongst my favourite of Sir Edric's shenanigans but took at least a month due to being totally written twice, and it's only four or five thousand words).

Personally, I find at least a vague outline helps to avoid blocks or writing yourself into a cul-de-sac.
 

Ashleyne

Shhh. I think they're listening
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
574
I aim for at least 5,000 words a week, and I average 1,000 a day.

I stopped writing years ago when it became too much of a fruitless chore. 75 word contests kept my head semi in the game. I also read dozens of different books from unfamiliar authors, scrutinising what worked and what didn't.

I feel like I've got my mojo back and then some. I started a new book and had no idea what I was doing until I'd written the first chapter. Now, a fully fleshed out plot's slapping my brain. My book's good as written.
 

L.L.Lotte

The Anime King
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
272
Location
A Land Down Under
While it's nice to set goals for ourselves in the way of word counts. I would caution that 100 well written words is worth a lot more than 1000 rushed words that you just end up rewriting anyway.*


* (Not that I'm saying anybody who writes 1000 words a day is writing bad prose ;) )
 

Ashleyne

Shhh. I think they're listening
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
574
One of the things I remember the most about reading 'It' was two pages worth of Eddie Kaspbrak's medicine descriptions. And the font on those pages was so small it was like trying to read fleas. Great book, though, for the most part.
 

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
13,668
Location
California
In many cases when the writing becomes boring it's because the writer became disenchanted with what they were writing but felt they had to power on through anyway.

And if we don't like what we are writing, why should anyone else like it?

Besides, you can edit something you haven't yet written down. You don't need a piece of paper (or a computer screen) with writing on it in order to edit and revise. Much of writing can take place entirely inside the writer's mind, so that when they do sit down too the physical task of writing, most of the editing and revising is already done.
 

Culhwch

Lost Boy
Staff member
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
7,473
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Besides, you can edit something you haven't yet written down. You don't need a piece of paper (or a computer screen) with writing on it in order to edit and revise. Much of writing can take place entirely inside the writer's mind, so that when they do sit down too the physical task of writing, most of the editing and revising is already done.
This is very true. In fact I've written a very successful five-part series that has spent years on the NYT bestseller list and is currently being optioned for a HBO adaptation, all inside my mind.

Wait, I might have been doing this wrong...
 
Top