What is a writing tip you wish someone had told you when you started out?

Discussion in 'Fiction Writing' started by resplendentmoonshine, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. The writing tip I hear most frequently is probably "sit down and write", followed by "be concise, like Hemingway". There are a lot of tips out there for hopeful writers, and I find sometimes that a lot of them involve conflicting advice, so I developed one piece of advice that I follow nearly religiously now: "read a lot, write a lot and don't listen too much to what others say". That being said, each and every one of us has our own personal mottos, so I was wondering what other (perhaps more experienced) writers had to say about writing in general. Thoughts?
  2. Iscea

    Iscea New Member

    "Don't judge yourself."

    I really wish someone would have told me that when I was younger. I got out of writing for many years because my perfectionist nature took over. I'd spend hours agonising over the phrasing of a single paragraph.

    It's better to write out the bones, even if you're writing the first chapter, the thirty first chapter and the last chapter and filling it in. Going over it later with fresh eyes will always show up more things than trying to do it right away.

    I regret all the stories that never made it past concept ideas because I was too busy judging my skills, rather than focusing on sharing a story.
  3. MOkada

    MOkada New Member

    Don't search too hard for absolute originality. (at the same time don't rip-off books)

    There is a point where a person can avoid cliches too much. When your focus is solely on coming up with something novel, the natural direction, the direction you feel is right for your novel, becomes diluted and twisted and confused. One should not try too hard to be completely original and should focus on writing what is write. Add in a love triangle if you want and have the girl get with the handsome new stranger instead of the best friend who waited too late (Manga cliche). If that is where the story is heading, changing directions for no good reason is not proper writing. Then again, don't rip-off stories. My first short-story was a bad rip-off of a more boring version of Harry Potter, which I can laugh about now.
  4. SaraJenn1

    SaraJenn1 New Member

    I wish someone had told me that there are heaps of synonyms for many words.
    I used to always spell-check my writing and see such an abundance of repeated words all over the Word page. I didn't used to think much of it thinking it was alright, but now when I look back on it I realise there were lots of other words I could have used that made the sentences more complete and have a more refined finish.
  5. violablue

    violablue New Member

    I wish that someone had told me early on that writing is always unfinished, that it is always a work-in-progress. I am never satisfied with the final draft but I have learned by now, that you have to let go at some point. There is also beauty in imperfection, as it shows that we are humans and we make mistakes. The hardest part is to accept this vulnerability but it is also exciting to know that you always have something to work toward--that you continue to strive for better with your next your next article or your next book.
  6. LuckyKing

    LuckyKing New Member

    I am not a writer, but I do hope that writer do consider some logical ways about their story 'cause sometimes it doesn't make any sense. And almost all the time the character of the story makes the wrong decision instead of the more obvious one.
  7. billeftimoski1

    billeftimoski1 New Member

    I think that one of the most impactful writing tips for me was to really grip tightly to whatever image springs to mind. Often we don't start writing from complete scratch but some little image has crept into our mind and spurned a desire. It's important to hold onto that image and just build build build build a whole universe around it. The best possible thing you can do is like most other people have said, write, write, write. This will ensure that your world begins to take shape, even if it is a very crappy shape at first. The carpenter must saw the wood before he can chisel it more finely.
  8. blazereighteen

    blazereighteen New Member

    The best advice I've heard is "write a shitty first draft." Get your ideas out and don't worry too much about making it good on the first try. There will be plenty of time to edit and rewrite later.
    I totally agree with you - there is a lot of conflicting advice, and a lot of bad advice! Often the "advice" just comes down to someone's personal preference. My view is that the best advice is to ignore all advice. If I try to please everyone, I end up too paralysed to write anything at all.

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