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Monday, July 16, 2012

Writing Advice Summed Up in Two Points

There's a lot of advice out there for writers, but it all basically boils down to two concepts.


1. Everything in moderation. 
New writers will often ask about the common pieces of advice "Never use adverbs/adjectives" or "Always show instead of tell" or "Never to use passive voice." The truth is none of this advice is true. At least not completely. Adverbs, adjectives, telling, and passive voice are all fine...in moderation. The first lesson in writing is learning the rules. The second lesson is learning when to break them.


2. Do what works for you. 
Another thing new writers commonly ask is "Would this work?" They ask about characters, relationships, pacing, writing styles, point of view, multiple perspective, tenses, plots, structure, outlining methods, writing methods, planning methods and just about anything else that has to do with writing that you can think of. The worst part about these questions is there is no one right answer.

Execution is everything in writing. It doesn't matter what you do as long as it works. If covering every inch of the walls of your bedroom with Post-It notes works for you, do it. If writing the story backwards works for you, do it. If you can pull off a story from three perspectives in first person point of view using present tense, do it. Don't ask if others think that you should do it. Ask yourself "Does this work?"

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