As you may have noticed, this blog mainly dishes out writing and/or creative advice on a regular basis. I'm all about positivity and encouragement. That being said, today we're going to cover the "don'ts" because, like you, I've fallen prey to bad advice before (and yes, I do happen to have the ugly white polyester stirrup-pants still hanging in my closet, thank you very much).
Writing Advice You Can Ignore
Learn a new word every day.
Seriously? What the heck for? So that you can spew it out in your manuscript and look like a smarty pants? No, no, no. I mean, if you happen to pick up a new word that you'd like to take on a spin around the block, go for it, but don't waste your time trying to memorize a word a day. Multi-syllable obscure words do not make you a better writer.
Write what you know.
Dude, if you wait to write a novel until you know everything about a particular subject or era, you'll never start. Or if you only write about the things you know really well, like stamp collecting, you'll get way too detailed and bore the reader. Do your research then write, whether you're an expert or not.
Your career hinges on your debut novel.
Really? Says who? Sure, a fantastic debut novel can get you noticed and potentially nab you another contract like pronto, but even if your first book doesn't rocket off the ol' sales chart, that doesn't mean you won't ever sell another manuscript. Write for the market.
If you don't write for yourself, you're going to get very frustrated. Write the book that you're passionate about, whether or not that's a current trend on bookshelves.
It's the synopsis that will sell the story.
Thank the sweet heavens that this one isn't necessarily true because dang if I can't write a synopsis to save my life. Yeah, you have to be able to jot down the major points of your story, but don't stress over the p's ad q's of your synopsis structure.
And if you'd like to keep up on what's trendy in really bad writing advice, check out The Worst Muse on Twitter.
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me
two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the
latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and
Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti
phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?