Snarky writing advice

From Nick Mamatas, ten bits of advice writers should stop giving aspiring writers.

Though I wonder if it would be better to rephrase this as “Ten Bits of Advice Aspiring Writers Should Stop Listening To.”  I’ve received a lot of the advice on the list.  Some of it has been helpful, some of it hasn’t.  My advice is to ignore any advice that you think is wrong (including this).

The comments thread for the article is also worth reading.  One point that comes up is that too much advice about the mechanics of writing (write likeable characters, don’t use adverbs, don’t use verbs other than “said” for dialogue, show don’t tell, go through and trim 10% off the wordcount once you think you’re done–that last one is one of my writerly advice pet peeves) can lead writers to produce stories that are adequate, but not very distinctive.  The best thing for your writing career isn’t necessarily to quash your individual voice and end up writing stories that are just like everyone else’s.

Mamatas’s bottom line is that the only generally applicable advice for writers is:  “Write something publishable, attempt many times to get it published.”

This entry was posted in writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *