Writing Advice: the Good, the Bad and the Useful!   4 comments

Line art representation of a Quill

Line art representation of a Quill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing exercise 3

Writing exercise 3 (Photo credit: aaipodpics)

One thing I hate to see is bad advice given. One particular bit of “bad advice” I keep reading about is, “If you want to become a better writer, all you need to do is write, write, write. The more you write, the better writer you will become.” That is like telling someone who wants to become a carpenter, “All you need to do is grab a hammer and some nails and build, build, build. Then after, hmm let’s say a really long time, maybe you will create something worth sitting on, living in, or whatever.”

I have better advice. “Learn HOW to write first!

  • Take CLASSES on writing
  • READ books on writing and successful authors in the genre(s) that interest you
  •  AND THEN write, write, write, after you have learned how to first

Next on the list is to join a CRITIQUE GROUP, that is if you are REALLY interested in becoming a writer that others want to read!

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4 responses to “Writing Advice: the Good, the Bad and the Useful!

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  1. Most of the writing advice i read – both online and in books – is often too vague to be of any use, or just plain contradictory. Far more important than reading books on writing -in my opinion – is just reading books. Read a lot, Write a lot, and join a critique group.

    I can’t comment on writing classes, as I’ve never taken one.

    • The reason I added: read books on writing, is that, in my opinion, only so much can be learned from reading other authors. I have been a prolific reader since I was six-years-old, but still when I decided to become an author, there were certain concepts that I simply could not understand and needed to have them explained in simplified terms. One such concept was Story Structure. Although I asked professional writers what this was, no one could give me a proper answer or tell me how to fix the problem. Then I found this wonderful book entitled, Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, PhD. After reading the book, I finally understood and was able to fix the problems in my writing.

      Most people could not build a house just by going to different houses and looking at them. Some of us need to study carpentry and architecture and hire certified plummers, electrician etc. in order to build one properly.

  2. I agree that writing without thinking doesn’t make you a better writer. Writing without self-critique is empty typing. Taking a writing class expecting you will become a great writer is a long shot–it may happen, but probably not. I also believe (and many do not agree with me) that you have to be born with the talent to write to become a really good writer. If you weren’t, you can still become a good communicator. But all writing: poetry, literature, communication, it all takes practice to get it right.

    • I have to disagree about the being born with the talent to write part. I was such a bad writer in high school that I made Cs in grammar and spelling. I cringed whenever there was an essay question on a test. But I had these awesome stories rattling around in my head that I wanted to put down on paper. So, I did all the things I listed in my blog post and now, I am a multiple award-winning writer of screenplays, fiction and poetry and have been so for several years now!

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