Tuesday, July 27, 2010

10 Things I've Learned


You've thought of an idea for a story. Congratulations. Here are a few things I wish I'd known when I started out.

10. First drafts are called 'first' for a reason. This is a good thing.

9. If you don't love your protagonist, neither will anyone else.

8. Real people aren't perfect. Let your characters have flaws.

7. As much as you admire certain authors, accept that you don't write like them. You can only write like you.

6. Write the story you want to tell, not the story that's the 'newest thing'.

5. Some days you might write more, some days less. As long as you're moving ahead, you're on the right road.

4. Give your manuscript to someone else to read. They'll see things you never will.

3. Writing takes self-discipline; way more than you'd think.

2. Never close yourself off to new ideas. There's always something to learn.

1. Snacks help.

18 comments:

  1. I love number one! Now, I just need snacks that will allow me to get out of my chair ten years from now.

    cd

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  2. I love this...it's a good reminder...now I'm off for snacks. ;-)

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  3. Yea for #1!
    I wish I'd known all these things, too.

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  4. #10 and #1 are more closely related than one might think!

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  5. Clarissa; I try to save the real wisdom for #1!

    Kristi; Remember; snacks help.

    Carol; If I'd known all of this at the beginning, I don't think my first projects would have taken as much time as they did!

    KarenG; Good for you for picking that up! There is, sometimes, method in my madness.

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  6. Today even snacks couldn´t have helped!

    I have some kind of ´summer tummy´ so thanks to coca cola and digestives I have survived - and I am sure tomorrow will be better (can´t be worse or I´ll start unraveling my WIP ;D)

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  7. Great advice Elspeth - especially Snacks Help!

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  8. Dorte; Snacks come in all shapes and sizes. I hope you feel better tomorrow!

    Jemi; Snacks never hurt. They can, however, sneak up on you when you least expect them.

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  9. No, snacks are dangerous, seductively dangerous :-)

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  10. Guess it depends on the snack. #1 is so true. I have to keep reminding myself of it. And not only are they first drafts, they can also be s---y first drafts, as Annie Lamotte so eloquently put it in "Bird by Bird."
    Karen

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  11. Yeah, hard to get by the snacks. Great advice..:)

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  12. Great list! I particularly like numbers 6 and 7. And I do wish someone had given me a list like this years ago.

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  13. Elspeth -- 10 great points and 99% of us comment on the one having to do with snacks. There's a definite pattern here, folks. LOL

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  14. Al; Seductively dangerous is never a bad thing.

    Karen; That's it. Who cares? Are you sending off that first draft? That's what editing is for. But there has to be something TO edit.

    L'Aussie; This I have learned. I'm glad you liked it.

    Jenny S; I wish someone had given me a similar list years ago too. It would meant a great less sleepless nights.

    Mary; I know my audience!! Why else do you think I made it #1???

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  15. Snacks are especially good if they contain chocolate. In very large amounts.

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  16. Add me to the 'snacks help' group.

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  17. I'm especially tuned into #9. I have an old romantic suspense manuscript on the shelf and my leading lady is a wimp. I hate her. Which is why the manuscript is on the shelf.

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