Last month, I started a mission to find the best writing advice from writers out there. There are a number of different posts that include advice from famous and well known writers. I had a feeling that there would be some gems in the community or people who are, day in day out, working on their craft.
The response didn’t disappoint!
I asked my two favourite online communities, Bang2Write and The Listeners of the Dead Robot’s Society, for the best writing advice that they had ever been given. I was amazed by the response, and decided to divide the two posts up. It’s taken me a little longer than expected to get the second post together, so I wholeheartedly apologise to the militant and terrifying members of the DRS group. May they have mercy on me.
You can see the first post as Bang2Write members give their best writing advice here.
As you might expect, there was a lot of duplication of advice, but I’ve managed to pull out some different advice and group it a little differently.
If you have any advice that you’d like to share, feel free to send me a message using this form and pitch me a guest post. I’m always looking out for new contributors to the site.
One sentence, one word, after another
Are you suffering with writer’s block? Elliot came up with a brilliant piece of advice. You’ve probably heard it before, but how often do you follow it?
Most of the other comments (that haven’t already been covered in previous posts) talked about how to write a good story. One of the strongest that I found was from Tim Callahan.
Underneath that was a comment from Elliot (yes, the very same Elliot from the above quote). He said to use Murphy’s Law. I hadn’t heard of Murphy’s Law, so I did a little research. Lucky for me, it wasn’t difficult to find out what he meant. After reading a little into it, I think there’s a definate cultural divide here! I have always used Sod’s Law for this type of thing. According to Wikipedia, being British adds an air of fatalism to my choice of law (although the Collins dictionary website puts the two sayings much closer together).
Nevertheless, Tim and Elliot make a good point. By putting the most difficult things in the way of your characters, you are bound to increase the payoff for the reader/viewer when they are achieved.
Controversial writing advice! Should you edit as you write?
I feel another blog post coming one! I wasn’t expecting to see contradictory advice following my blog post. However, Robert Tillsley managed to sneak in with the last comment. What do you think about the below? A lot of people seem to believe that you should get a draft down before you do any editing.
I’m not sure about this one myself, I’ve always thought it better to get the first draft down as soon as possible. So to see this advice threw me a little bit. But it’s a valid point and could be a really good way of maximizing your time available. Regular readers of this blog know I’m all about productivity and making the most of your time. This is the best thing, in my opinion, of getting writing advice from writers. You start to realise the sheer amount of different techniques there are out there!
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel
Sometimes it is easy to forget that we are writing to tell a story. It can be so easy to get caught up in word counts, rewrites and edits that we should congratulate ourselves on getting the story we wanted to tell down on paper. That’s why I love Thassos’ advice to everyone currently writing a story…
My favourite piece of writing advice this time
I’m not going to write much of an introduction to this bit of advice from Timothy Niederriter.
I think this is really important advice. There’s so much advice out there, and the pool keeps on getting bigger every moment. However, you can remedy that by cherry-picking the best bits of advice, whether it’s writing advice from writers or anyone else.
Writing advice from writers – what next?
It seems like a good idea, after getting advice from Facebook, to look at other sources of advice and inspiration. In November, I’ll be looking at more detailed advice from established writers across different formats. Get in touch if you’d like to add to the site, or if you have any other ideas bout groups I could ask for more advice.
The images for this post all came from pexels.