Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writing advice from a pro

I regularly read books on the craft. I don't sit and do a straight read through, but there's always one in progress.

Right now I'm reading The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club. Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite authors, BTW. She's included advice from other writers in the book. Here's some words of wisdom from Marian Keyes:

"People often ask me for advice on writing a book; because I'm a published author they assume I'm in on some big secret. But the good news is that there's no big secret, and the bad news is that there's no big secret. The advice I give is very practical, and it's advice that people rarely want to hear. But I'm not holding out on you, honest to God--this is really how it's done. First, stop talking about it and sit down and start writing it--word by word. No on else can write your book but you. If you don't write it, it won't get written.

Second--and brace yourself for a cliche--writing really is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Writing is work. Perfect characters, plots, and sentences don't spring fully formed from the mind of a writer onto his or her screen. They are achieved only by time, patience, thought, and constant rewriting."

(I added the bold font.) That's probably the first piece of advice wanna-be writers need to hear. To steal a phrase: Just do it!

What's your best piece of writing advice?


Olivia Newport said...

I've had more questions about how to get published than how to write, as if it boils down to three easy steps to some extra money. I usually respond with some business realities. If someone still wants to write, then we're talking.Because the first business reality is that the writing must shine.

Megan DiMaria said...

Now, that's good advice, Olivia!

Diane Marie Shaw said...

Megan, I have the same book by Maeve Binchy, like you I read parts of my many writing books.
The Marian Keyes quote is quite good.