My manuscript has been sold, the book published and I’m gearing up for round two on a debut book launch and events. Over the past year and a half I’ve been given boatloads of advice. Here’s what ended up working, and not working, for me:
Write every day—Not for me.
This advice comes from those who write like crazy. Many who say this are well published. I write a lot, but not every day. Frankly, there are not many things I do every day except raise children. When I worked as a lawyer and the kids were smaller I wrote every other day on average. Vacations- and beach vacations in particular- ramp up my word count and as a result my children have seen a lot of sand.
Outline—Not for me.
I get an idea for a premise and begin writing. I research along the way, but while I’m still writing. I remember what James Rollins once said at a conference I attended: “when you’re researching you’re working but not writing.” In other words, doing prep work accomplishes something but you are still no closer to finishing the novel.
Take a creative writing class-50/50 on this one.
I began with an evening course at the University of Chicago Gleacher center. I got into the groove of writing there, but by no means do I think it is a necessary step to becoming a writer.
Get a Masters in Fine Arts-Not for me.
I have some degrees and diplomas. Enjoyed them all, but just don’t have it in me to get one more. Thankfully, this bit of advice is only necessary if you want to obtain a position as a professor.
Write what you know-50/50 on this one.
I’ve written about things I can only imagine. I mean, who murders someone just so they can write about murder? In fact, one of my first manuscripts is about a female attorney. I knew the material, but so many have written legal scenarios and lawyer protagonists that I wasn’t sure I had much to add to the genre. Not to mention that I felt as though I was at work 24/7. I ended up putting that manuscript on the shelf and turned to write Running. If you’re unsure about your ability to write a believable scenario in an area you don’t know, then maybe you should write what you know at first. Just be prepared to branch out if necessary.
Those are the big pieces of advice I heard along the way and my approach to the matter. I’ll blog about the advice to a newly published author next!
Running from the Devil
The Ultimate Whodunnit?
2 hours ago