Monday, May 17, 2010

Writing advice from...writers!

So, I'm a little unmotivated today. What was the first thing that I did? Pull out this list of advice I'd gathered sometime always helps to energize me!

Lori Foster says:
“Avoid critique groups and contests. They can not buy your book, but they can dilute your voice - which is the only unique thing any writer has. Listen to all advice given, and see how it applies to your work, but never feel pressured to make a change just to please the masses. Be honest with yourself, and admit your words are NOT golden, and can almost always use change. Yeah, it's a conflict - but no one ever said writing was easy. So much is instinctive, and if you don't have the instincts, get out while you can! LOL” –

Lucy Monroe says:
“Believe in your voice and your stories and don't let anyone but your editor convince you to make changes that don't mesh with *your* heart. (Sometimes not even your editor.)” –

Kimberly Raye says:
“The biggest piece of advice I can give to any writer (published or unpublished) is to believe in yourself and your work and take both seriously. If you don’t, no one else will. It wasn’t until I started believing in myself and my work that I started to go places with my writing. At first, it was just to the page, then to a critique group, then a publisher, and now it’s to thousands of readers. But it started with me having the faith to sit down and do it, to value what I was doing, to cherish and nurture it.” --

Juliet Burns says:
“Read what you want to write! Pick up newly released books in whatever genre/ line you are targeting and read as many as you can get your hands on. This will give you a feel for the type of plots, and characters and, most importantly, the tone of that particular line. It also gives you an idea what editors are buying. (Or at least what they were buying a year ago)” --

R. Ellen Ferare says:
“Keep writing, even as the rejections pour in. Editors sometimes ask to see your other work if they like your submission. Even if they can't use what you originally sent in. It keeps the spirits up, too.” –

Nicole North says:
“Make sure your writing is tight. Avoid repetitiveness, weak words, unnecessary dialogue tags...actually anything unnecessary! Each sentence should move the story forward.” --

Calista Fox says:
“Know your market! Understanding the genre in which you want to write is key. Know publishers within your genre and read their books. This will help you write books that fit their needs and style, and reduce rejection of a great book!

Write what you love. If you try to write the latest trend, but it's not your forte--or you're really not that interested in it--your audience (be it an editor, agent or reader) will know and they won't be happy with the story. This is especially true of erotic romance. If it's not up your alley--don't try it! Readers will sense your hesitancy or dislike for the genre in your stilted prose and they won't be pleased with the outcome.

Believe in yourself! If writing is your passion and your dream... keep doing it!” --

Cynthia Eden says:
“Not everyone will love your work--and that's okay. But YOU have to love your work. Stay true to your voice. Write the story that you want to create--do not try to fit a preset mold or write what you think is "hot" right now. Believe in yourself and write the best story that you are capable of creating.” --

Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter says:
“For beginning writers my most heartfelt advice is to set their fiction in a place they love with all their heart. That love and familiarity will shine through the novel and add depth and emotion many books lack. The setting in such a story can act as a character and further the plot in ways that readers will love because almost everyone feels a "love of home and place" for somewhere they've lived. That's why I set Cottonwood Place from The Wild Rose Press in the Southwest, I left my heart there after I visited it twice, and my father was buried in Bullhead City, Arizona.”

Amber Green says:
“Turn off the radio when you're alone in the car. You can hear the voices in your head better, and will often come home with just the fragment of dialogue or description you've been needing.”--

Brenda Williamson says:
“Carry a small recorder and talk out what's in your head. Works great when alone in the car, riding the lawnmower, soaking in the tub, and anywhere else you don't feel foolish dictating or acting out love scenes.” --

Larissa Ione says:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff…don’t get hung up on nits. An editor isn’t going to reject your book because you had too many “thats” or not enough commas in the story. Get the big stuff down – plot, characterization, voice, etc., because sometimes, the little stuff IS your voice.” --

Ann Jacobs says:
“Sometimes the best ideas come when you first wake up, so it's a good idea to keep a tape recorder, pad and pencil, etc. nearbyso you can get them down before they drift away as you go back to get those extra few winks of shuteye.” --

Marcia James says:
“Don't make the mistake of thinking you can learn the business side of writing AFTER you get "The Call". You need to learn craft and business (especially author promotion) simultaneously to be successful.” --

Jacki Bentley says:
“I’d like to remind struggling aspiring authors to never to give up on their dream to have readers. Over the years, I’ve seen many, many serious writers get published eventually – it takes a discouraging amount of time for some. Windows come open then close in sort of cycles. Use that time to hone the craft of romance writing. Also, some of the rules of writing don’t always translate well to romance, so read, read, and read more romance.” --

Donna MacMeans says:
“Find a local RWA chapter for support when the rejections come (and they will), for informative monthly speakers to teach the things never covered in English class, and for motivation to keep writing and submitting.” –

Leigh Court says:
“My best writing tip is a riff on the Nike slogan: Just Write It! My previous occupation was as a television news reporter, so when I think I have writer's block, or the story is just not flowing, or when I'm staring at a blank computer screen, I pretend I have that 6pm deadline for the nightly news, and Just Write It! Amazing how motivating a deadline can be!” --

Now for a word from an editor with Wild Rose Press

Amanda Barnett says:
“For this editor, a wonderful and intriguing plot captures my interest, every time, but basic writing fundamentals that need work pulls me back out of what could be an awesome read. Point of view and passive/active sentences, etc are all things that can and should be learned with little effort. However, the meat of a good romance begins with creativity—and this comes from the heart and soul. Please, if your dream is to be published, do not give up!”

So, what's your advice? Share!


Jake - but not the one said...

Good observations, every one!

Bekki Lynn said...

Wonderful quotes! Thanks for sharing.

It's so important to love what you do and never be afraid to keep learning to improve it.

Anne Rainey said...

one thing I'd like to add. Stay away from negative reviews and comments. There will always be tons of opinions about your books and it can really kill your muse when you let them all suck you in until you can't figure out up from down!