Tuesday, February 1, 2011

10 Things I Know

There are lessons aplenty to help with grammar and character arcs and plot development. These aren't those.

10. If you've blocked out a time for writing and you're writing well, the time will fly by in an instant. If you're not writing well, the time will drag on for eons.

9. Writing poorly is far easier than writing well.

8. Characters tend to speak loudest just as you're about to fall asleep.

7. If you're a morning person, you will write best in the evening and vise versa.

6. The realization of "This Is Crap" can come at any point. If you're lucky, it happens in the first 10,000 words. Let's just say I'm not all that lucky.

5. Even if you don't base your characters on anyone you know and the people in your life know this, it will not stop them asking "Am I in it?"

4. You will never read a book the same way again.

3. 85,000 words is a lot of words. A lot. You can't write it in a week. If you can, please go soak your head.

2. You will have all the patience in the world with your characters and very little with yourself.

1. People who ask "But what do you really do?" need to be abandoned on ice floes.


  1. Elspeth - Those are such important lessons. I have learned #6 and #9 the hard way. I have also learned to leave out a box of chocolates for Madam Muse at all times. I never know when she'll take it into her head to pay me a visit.

  2. I always answer the question in #1 with "I am a tattoo artist - that's where the real moolah is. What tattoo have you always wanted?" Then they go away.

  3. Also to be abandoned on those ice floes are those who think because "all you do is write" that you don't really work and are free for anything and everything at a moment's notice.

  4. Margot; You're so hospitable! No wonder you accomplish so many things.

    Jan; LOL! What a brilliant response.

    Carol; Yes! Those people need to spend some time on an ice floe.

  5. What a great list! All so true. I think you commented on my post last week on Mirandizing our friends who may see themselves in our work. (Although usually when it's not intended.)

    Thanks for the smiles. And the ice floes. I've got some serious candidates there. (And I agree--Jan, that's perfect!)

  6. Anne; I make a conscious effort *not* to put anyone I know into my stories. I also won't name a character after anyone.

    Terry; No one ever tells you it's one of the hazards of writing - it's something you discover on your own.

  7. Yes, what IS it about these characters that keep such late hours?! Ha!

  8. Elizabeth; I think if you have an exciting life (like most characters) late nights come with the territory. If you're tired at night (like most writers) you long for sleep. Issues...

  9. Definitely #4 -- I hate wanting to edit everything I choose to read for fun.

  10. Yes, it is too true that the rest of the world thinks writers don't really have jobs so we can help them (fill in the blank).
    I do believe my characters stay up late so they can catch me when my internal editor is too tired to judge.


Please leave a comment as I love to hear from you!