Moving on from my post last week about bad writing advice, I am here today to talk about good writing advice. Because it does exist.
Although funnily enough, the best writing advice I’ve heard isn’t about HOW to write. It’s about how you APPROACH writing.
Don’t worry about the first draft
The first draft is the first step in every writer’s nightmare. Does it sound good, does it make sense, is it good? Honestly, no, your first draft probably isn’t very good at all. But that doesn’t matter. It’s supposed to be rubbish, so you can make it better later.
Don’t compare yourself to other writers
‘So and so is a much better writer than I am. I’m never going to be that good. I suck.’
I’ve said it to myself before. I know other people have done the same. And it can be difficult to compare yourselves to others, especially if you read a lot. But you can’t compare cake mix to a fully decorated cake, so you shouldn’t compare your uneditied writing to the likes of those who are already published.
And everyone is different. Everyone’s style is different and everyone’s opinion is different.
Plot like you mean it
A bit of a controversial one, but I’ve learned that plotting does help me a lot more than running in head first without a plan.
When you plan, you know where your characters are going, where the plot is going and what your overall aim is. Chances are, there will be a lot less to edit plot wise once the first draft is done. I used to hate the restriction but now know I can move away from the plot, so long as I come back to it.
Don’t try to be original, it doesn’t exist
I used to hate my ideas, because I could always think of a similar plot in another book. But nowadays, original ideas are few and far between. Don’t worry yourself with the notion your book is similar to someone else’s- as long as it is not a carbon copy. Your style and your spin on things is what will make it different.
Just keep writing.
This one, funnily enough is the best piece of writing advice i’ve ever heard. Simple, right? No matter how difficult your story might be, or if you don’t know what to write next, or if you’re not feeling very motivated or inspired- just keep writing.
What you end up with may be crap, completely unrelated to the plot or not make any sense at all but you’ve written. And most of the time, if I keep writing, eventually something great comes out of it.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard?