I never thought there’d come a day when I’d need to write something like this; after all, people with far more experience and eloquence are writing about writing all the time.
But it’s begun to happen – people are starting to ask me for writing advice.
After a moment’s WTFing and headscratching, I figured I’d write something that I would have appreciated having when I got it in my pea brain to try this writing lark.
There is no money.
There are no guarantees.
There are also no guarantees you won’t miraculously make money, but you’d be better off buying Lotto tickets if that’s your plan.
People will mock you. Some of us are used to that so it’s all good
If you do achieve a modicum of success, you will suddenly have a whole bunch of new friends who want you to read their books and introduce them to the right people.
There are no right people
Well, there probably are, but I certainly don’t know them.
You will meet fantastic writers whom you admire, who give you chills every time you read their stuff, people you want to emulate in everything they do.
You’ll sometimes find that a lot of these people are not published.
Which brings us back to point 2
Seriously, you better be doing this because you love words
And have the ability to grow a thick skin
And understand that when we hurt you it’s because we love you.
If you’re still convinced that you want to write, then I’m just going to link to a bunch of sites that helped me along the way. Because I can’t do more than that: I can’t make you sit down and write, I can’t fix your grammar or spelling (hell, I think we’ve ascertained that I have enough problems there myself), I can’t work out what method of writing is going to be the best one for you…
All I can say is that if you want to do it, you will.
Look, I don’t even know what you *want* to write. My own experience is pretty limited in that I write Young Adult fantasy (and I didn’t even know I was until it was pointed out to me), so I’m going to give you the resources that helped me, and then you’re on your own.
Have fun, as they say before the boys go over the top.
General writing advice:
Absolutewrite.com can be a fount of useful information. It can also not be. But here’s a good place to start – Novel writing
There are a lot of “rules” that people like to bandy about.
Self-editing for Fiction Writers: Here’s a pretty good resource that explains just why a lot of those rules make sense. Of course, all rules are there to be broken, so if something works, do it.
I kinda love the exercises in this book, but it’s not for everyone – Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook.
The blue boards at Verla Kay are helpful if you’re writing children’s books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult.
Critique groups work for some people; if nothing else, you can learn a lot from critiquing other writers’ work.
Critters is one of the big ones
and SFF/OWW is another.
You might find you work better with a smaller group, or even a real-life writer’s group.
Follow the blogs of writers you like. (Just don’t be that douche that only follows a writer so you can bug them to read your manuscript or introduce you to their agent. Just please. No).
Read a lot.
Write a lot
Learn about that editing thing….
(if you’re reading this through LJ and have some links to suggest, hit me. :D)