Monday, October 3, 2011

Useless Writing Tips

One of the hardest things you need to learn about starting a novel is learning when to use the advice you read on  blogs/articles/books/etc. and when to trust your own judgments. Every other week, I'm reading some new blog post about how to introduce your main character or how long your chapter lengths should be. Yadda yadda yadda. 

If you research that crap too long, you'll NEVER get around to writing your novel! And besides, aren't all of those articles basically preaching the same thing over and over again? First three chapters are the most important. No info-dumping. "Said" is always the right dialogue tag. No head-popping. Start your novel where the action is. Research your market and pick an agent accordingly. Write your synopsis before you write your novel. Always have a beta-reader or crit-partner. Never submit a manuscript without reading the publisher's guidelines. Expect rejections. Use social media to market yourself. The acceptance rate for most publishers is less than 5%. Debut novelists should expect to follow different rules than established writers. Blah blah blah

Imagine trying to start a novel with all of THAT constantly going through your mind--ugh! You'll never get anywhere! So forget all the useless writing tips. You don't need them now until after you're done. Until then, just go with it. 

I swear, some bloggers get off on spewing this sort of crap on a daily basis. While it may help out the newbs, it puts an enormous amount of pressure on veterans who should already know this stuff but then start second-guessing themselves as they shop around for tips. 

So here is my useless writing tip for the day:

Understand and accept that there is no golden rule to getting your book published. Luck and persistence is what gets you published 90% of the time. There will always be that writer who did not market themselves as well or who did not work as hard as you but STILL managed to get published.  Shitty novels are published everyday. Remember,  it is not a matter of how well you can write. It's about how many books you can sell. That's how this business works. 

Work hard, but don't kill yourself. Yes, writing a novel is tedious but if it was easy, every asshole out there with a horrible idea would be making millions of dollars. 

Happy writing!


Ben said...

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR HAVING THE BALLS TO SAY THIS. It's in-SANE the amount of craptastic writing advice given on the internet on a daily basis. While I think some of it is worthwhile I have learned with time to attach value to the giver of advice more than to the advice itself.

Vegetarian Cannibal said...

Thank you for responding to my post, Ben!

Related Posts with Thumbnails