Friday, October 29, 2021

Writing: Advice

 Wow. I looked at the publication date of my first published novel, and remembered the years (yes, years) that preceded it. As you know, if you've followed along, I got into this writing thing after the death of my first wife, and before I got my first novel's contract, I had a non-fiction book, The Tender Scar, published by an equity publisher--and it's still going, through its second edition now. Since then, I've had a number of novels and novellas appear in print. And along the road, I've received a lot of advice. Some of it was helpful, some not. 

For example, many people have said, "I've got an idea for a book," or "You should write a book about..." Although I've tried to behave toward those people like my Sunday School teacher would like, what I'd really like to tell them is that an author has lots of ideas. The trick is to turn them into a full-fledged novel. Try that sometime.

Which led me to ask you this: What is the best (or worst) advice you have been given, or (if you don't want to play that game) what advice would you like to give an author? I can hardly wait for your responses.  

PS--for those who've been waiting, I just finished the re-re-re-editing process for my next novel (well, a novella) and sent it off. I'll let you know as the drama unfolds. 


Priscilla Bettis said...

I'll play.:-) Best advice: don't publish too soon. Oh, I cringe at my early stories! Worst advice: don't write literary stories because they don't sell. That may be true, but I think quality counts too. I compromise by striving for "accessible literary" fiction.

Congrats on finishing your re-re-re-edits!

Richard Mabry said...

I'll echo your comment--the initial reaction (especially with the first novel) is to get it off as quickly as possible, so fame and fortune can follow. I'm glad my agent taught me differently.

Patricia Bradley said...

Best advice? Learn the craft, and like Priscilla, don't be in too big of a hurry. I'd hate for anyone to see my early manuscripts...but that's not happening because they are shredded. lol

Worst advice? I don't think I've ever gotten any advice I'd term worst--everything I've been told has a nugget of truth in it, but some of it doesn't apply to me.

Oh, and those people who tell you that they have this great story idea? I tell them they should write it themselves. :-)

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, Wish I'd shredded my first one instead of leaving it on my computer. I've finally gotten the nerve to rewrite it, and it's in the "tease" at the end of my novel that I just sent in. Now I've got to rewrite it to show how much I've learned.