Monday, 8 December 2008

Tess Gerritsen On Writing

New writers often wonder if they're doing things right. Should they write in longhand or type straight to screen? Should they revise as they go, or just get their first draft down? Should they make it up as they go along, or plan everything out before they write a single word?

Where writing is concerned, it seems that Tess Gerritsen agrees with me (not that she realises, but hey...). She wrote,
Experienced writers will find my advice a no-brainer because they’ve already figured out what works best for them, and they’ve learned to accept what may seem to others to be a uniquely quirky process. But for beginning writers, the writing itself may fill them with anxiety because they’ve heard there’s a “right” way to do it, and they think that success is all about the process. It isn’t. Success is all about creating a great story with unforgettable characters, and whatever way you do it is the right way.

You can read the rest of her post here. Now go and write something, and try not to worry too much about the rules.


Anonymous said...

Amen to that!

Daniel Blythe said...

I've had students obsessing over "the rules". There is sometimes this idea that published writing is a secret club, and that if they get "the rules" right about font size, margins, spacing, etc., then they will automatically be allowed admission to "the club". I always tell them it's all about the writing - sometimes that's not what they want to hear, because that's so much harder to get right!

Jane Smith said...

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel... you know nothing. You don't even know the secret handshake that lets you into the Inner Library.

Now, I know I'm not meant to tell the truth about publishing here, and all of us (we?) PUBLISHED writers are honour-bound to Keep The Editing Secret, but I'm not having it. I'll admit: there's a Big Fat Publishing Conspiracy intended to keep all newcomers away from publication so that writers like us can keep our careers (ha!) going without any competition.

The writing has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING. All you need is a Name, or a big fat cheque-book and bingo! A book contract will appear before you.

That's why there are no publishers open to submissions, no friendly agents, no editors willing to accept the unpublished and NO HOPE for anyone but us.


(That's a joke. Just in case anyone who reads this doesn't know me very well. Or something.)