Monday, June 18, 2012

A Pocket Full of Tips

photo credit
My readers are all over the place as far as the journey goes. Some of you have been at it for years, others are just starting out. Some of you are published, some agented, and some hoping to query your first manuscript. I'm really glad to have all of you with me, I couldn't ask for a better support group, so I try to put out posts that could appeal across the board. So I was thinking, what are the simplest, but best tips I can pass on? Here's the first half of my personal top ten list. I'll put up the other five next Monday. 


10. PUT IT AWAY. Give yourself that extra time to gain some perspective and come at it new. The book I just sent to my Beta readers? I put it away for almost 7 months before pulling it out for a couple of more pass throughs. It was just what that book needed. 
9. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. If you say it online, it stays online. And people LOVE to latch on to inappropriate comments and plaster them everywhere. If you think a message you write to one agent won't ever be seen by other eyes? Guess what - we are part of a smallish community overall and agents talk to each other. They want the best work they can get, but they also want people they can work with. 
8. DO WHAT YOU LOVE. If you're in this because you think you'll make a quick buck, fagettaboutit. We only torture ourselves because we can't NOT write. Likewise if you can't stand romance - don't write it. Write what truly excites you or it won't be your best work, and let's face it, it's hard enough to sell our best!
7. WRITE WHAT SCARES YOU. These words have meant the most to me. I was afraid to go where it was tough and where I'd never ventured craft wise before. But by doing it, I forced myself to expand and grow as a writer. 
6. NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE. Published authors have said many times that they still want to change things, even when it's on the shelf. Don't be afraid to change and revise. Cut and chop and add. That's what makes a good book great. 

Note on the pic above - How could I NOT use this? But the source looks like it has some valid tips as well if you want to click on the credit link.




20 comments:

  1. I pay close attention to your tips. Well, and I was already doing some of them.

    Anyhoo, you might want to go to my blog today (and you know I never promote my blog in comments so I must have a really good reason...)
    :)

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  2. Love the tips. Keep 'em coming.

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  3. I never realized, until I got distracted with a different project, how big a difference it made when you give your ms distance. When I went back to the other one, I suddenly noticed all the issues I had missed before.

    So true about writing what scares you.

    Can't wait to read the rest of the posts. :)

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  4. Great tips! Putting it away for gaining perspective is one of the most important things I've learned about writing.

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  5. I'm trying to give a MS distance right now, but it's hard! These are all wonderful tips, so thank you!

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  6. Great tips. I've put my manuscript away several times and found not only fresh eyes but improved writing help with the revisions.

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  7. Great advice! I really like #7, writing what scares you. Makes one take risks and that's where some awesome growth can take place.

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  8. All excellent tips, for sure. For me, a big thing is to write what I like to write. No, it's not for everyone, but I'm not cut out to write some of the more popular genres. And letting the ms marinate...also huge.

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  9. I just picked up my nano novel for a look see this weekend. I've just gone through the first 2 chapters, but I'd forgotten a lot of what I'd written. Coming at it with fresh eyes is truly priceless!

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  10. I'm a huge advocate of distance. Letting a piece breathe unlocks your mindset about it when you do return.

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  11. Stellar advice! All writers need to read and heed this list! Each of these is integral to not only being a good writer, but staying sane while doing it!

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  12. One of my problems is that while sometimes I can't not write, other times I can easily not write.

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  13. Every one of these are like the golden rules I live by and fight against as a writer. Great list, LG! :o) <3

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  14. Wonderful tips! But Do What You Love might be my favorite. It's too easy to be distracted by the market and all the other influences. Writing what you love = happiness. ; )

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  15. I like the "Write what scares you." And it doesn't have to be about zombies. It has to be something you have tried before and that you're afraid you might fail at. When you do that you know you're stretching. Some of my "stretching" has been wretched when I read it later, but at times I see a few bits of prose that work.

    Super suggestions.

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  16. I've heard you share the "write what scare you" advice before and I'm still not sure I've really GONE THERE. I think I needed the reminder again - thanks? yikes.

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  17. Write what scares you… yeah, that does keep us on new writing territory.
    But it's awfully hard to write from a fetal position. ;)

    Which is where the rest of your continued list comes in - with don't be a loner.

    Others writers can recognize that position. Most time, if they are good ones you should be hanging around with, 'cause they've been there enough themselves to understand. And gently offer 'oxygen.'

    Great lists of tips. Thanks.

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