Writing Advice

I try to keep my eyes, ears, and fingers tuned to catch writing advice when I see it. The number one piece of advice that raises my hackles is when someone shares their pearls of wisdom and tells you to “write what you know.” Well, if that is all writers ever did, they would never grow and their imagination would be so stifled that we would never the genres of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, and Mysteries, Detective, Horror, and Historical would all be limited to writers that work in those areas or lived during the historical period represented.

When you write the things that you do NOT know, you have to really think about what the character is going through. For me, this helps me to not skip over the important elements that will make the emotions and experiences come alive for the reader. Because you do not know exactly how something feels, you spend more time analyzing it and doing research if needed.

I will not be doling out advice in this blog; there are plenty of places for you to look for writing advice. Personally, I listen to one writing podcast and The Writer magazine (the only one available through NLS, but you can have access to Poets and Writers through NFB-Newsline) and that is enough to filter in tidbits of advice and keep me updated in general about the writing world.

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Outlining . . . Again

I am returning to the topic of outlining because that is what I am going to focus on this week. When I began the novel, I was working off a very vague idea and just seeing where the story took me. At some point, I found my last paragraph for the novel but I still didn’t know how I was going to get to that point, so I kept writing.

Writing kept the words flowing and a subplot developed. I am at a point in the novel that if I do not flesh out my outline, it is liable to run away from me and that often leads to me cutting scenes that I have fallen in love with but they have to go because they lead no where. It is okay to let your outline change and grow, but it ultimately has to move the story forward toward an end, even if that end is different than what you thought it would be.

So, I am off to see how this outline will grow and what plot points emerge that I had not previously seen.