"Read, read, read. Read everything--trash, classics, good and bad,and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You' ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window." William Faulkner
I'm very thankful for all the great writing advice I've gotten over the years from writing friends, my writers group, books and workshops. Since it's Thanksgiving week, I thought this would be good time for all of us to share the best advice we've ever received. Here are a few of my favorite tips:
Keep Moving Forward - Revise, research, rewrite later. If a fact stumps you, look it up later. If a sentence or a whole paragraph, page or chapter sounds crappy, revise and rewrite later. Don't let a stumbling block stop you-- keep going!
Utilize Another Set of Eyes to Read Your Work - Not your mother or non-writer friends. It's okay to let them read it, just don't expect any constructive criticism. It's important for another writer to read your work to help you improve it. So join a critique/writers group.
Brevity is Best - Do your best to avoid wordiness and keep your prose simple. Avoid long windedness: At the store she picked up lots of gag gifts that were insanely crazy and really wacky. Keep it short: She bought lots of crazy gag gifts.
Scrap Those Fancy Words - "Do not be tempted by a twenty dollar word when there is a ten center handy, ready and available." From Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. So in other words (again), keep it simple! Avoid this: Upon looking at her, he became discombobulated. And try this instead: Seeing her confused him.
That's enough from me. Now, it's your turn! Leave a comment sharing the best piece of writing advice you've ever received!
Tweet me @maria_mckenzie. Thanks for stopping by!