We all have something we’d like to write about, but that doesn’t really “fit” our blog. Write it anyway.
I write a lot, but never give advice about writing. There are reasons. First, I should have some sort of academic training to boast about. Second, I should be a better writer to take on the task of directing others. Third, writing is highly subjective. Fourth, I don’t like being critical of the earnest efforts of others especially when the discipline is highly subjective.
Back when I started to take writing seriously a writer who lived in another part of the country began to give me some writing advice; try to accomplish as much as possible by dialogue, don’t change the point of view, and don’t use passive voice.
That was good advice.
He shared a couple chapters from a novel he was writing. I quickly pointed out a flood of examples of passive voice and rewrote some paragraphs that could have been better served with dialogue.
He stopped emailing me.
Giving advice, especially on something a person is passionate about, can cost friendships. Certainly it must not have been much of a friendship to begin with, but that episode sticks with me. I seldom give advice or write about writing.
A few years ago I built an apartment for my wife and I. After it was completed we invited a couple over. He was a craftsman. He made a living restoring and remodeling homes, not for schmucks like me, but for people who had real dough. The first thing he said upon arrival was, “Don’t show me all the flaws in your work. The place looks fine. Whenever people invite my wife and I over they think they have to show me their mistakes. I don’t go around and showing them the crap I’ve messed-up and nobody knows about.” We had a great evening.
So here is my advice:
1. Follow the accepted structure of all good writing; sentences, paragraphs, and dialogue.
2. Let your characters tell the story through dialogue – put them to work.
3. Write simple sentences.
4. Use simple words. Three simple words are better than one pretentious word. Okay, three simple words are better than one word filled with a bunch of hoopty-do.
5. Write honest.
6. Write often.
7. Accept criticism.
8. Find your own voice (your own way of writing, there‘s only room for one Steinbeck in this world ).
9. Don’t get too hung up on rules. Develop a writer’s ear. Sometimes what is good grammatically or structurally does not sound good. Write what sounds good.
10. Writing is art. Every painter has their own style. Every writer has theirs.
It all boils down to this, write good stuff.
Trackbacks & Pingbacks
- Island of Misfit Posts | Geek Ergo Sum
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts « Mama Bear Musings
- How I Fell In Love with Anime | Ramisa the Authoress
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | The Educated Illiterates
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts – show us MISFIT. | masadiso79’s Blog
- Daily Prompt: Island Of Misfit Posts | suzie81’s Blog
- Daily Prompt: Misfit | Books, Music and Movies : my best friends
- Daily Prompt: Misfit, A Poem | Vicariously Poetic
- How a Kira is Born (Death Note Fan Fiction) | Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | likereadingontrains
- Smokin’ Parkour |
- This, That, & The Other Thing | Spirit Lights The Way
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | Mindful Splatter
- Why I Don’t Write About Writing | The Jittery Goat
- No water hose | clarior e tenebris
- The Sea will Decide | Lewis Cave
- Island of misfits | Nanuschka’s Blog
- Island of Misfit Posts: Misfits of London | Khana’s Web
- Surf, Wine and I Love it! | Completely Disappear
- A creative misfit? : Island of Misfit posts | so i wrote
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | Basically Beyond Basic
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Island of Misfit Posts | So Says Matt
- Ironic Mac & Cheese | Thoughts & Theories
- 168. Misfit. | Sofie’s Diary
- Daily Prompt: Can One-Size-Fits-All Blog Accommodate Misfit? | Iam Who Iam
- Daily Prompt: The Island of Misfit Posts | Natasha’s Memory Garden
- Is there any I can’t write here? | A Fanatic Novice
- This Really Doesn’t Fit Here – But I Have To Go Out Dating! | Joseph Rathjen – Freelance Writing
- Daily Prompt: Love, Actually | One Starving Activist
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts – Odd Ends | SERENDIPITY
- The Emotional Turmoil Called Love | Gisei ぎせい
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | itisnotaboutmeblog
- Picture of food | Spunky Wayfarer
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | Morrighan’s Muse
- un-fitting it may be, not, but it fits fine for me. | thoughtsofrkh
- A Little ‘BUZZ’ Goes a Long Way | Here’s My Heart & Here’s My Mouth
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | To Breathe is to Write
- Misfit | The Cosmic Carousel
- Community | windandlaughter
- Catherine B.’s Blog | Fiction | This Doesn’t Go Here | Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts
- Daily Prompt: Lucy | A Good One
- Misfits | The Nameless One
- Daily Prompt: MISFIT | Embroid Yourself
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Prompts | My Daily Prompt Blog
- Eating All And More | Self-Help for Creatively Deprived
- Munchies | Relax…
- Middle Class Misfits | mycookinglifebypatty
- Sunday Spin – Misfit | Tommia’s Tablet
- Pine River Hawg’s Breath Sunday | Breathing Space
- Hello, I am a Bi Lady… | Heather Blogs
- Daily Prompt: Island of Misfit Posts | A Taste of Morning