Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: writing craft

“How to Write a Great Story: A Roundup of Best Advice”


Today is a re-blog day; but, official re-blogs can only be done from WordPress sites… Great Story Roundup

So, let’s pretend…

If you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen Jane Friedman here many times.

Here’s a “re-blog” of her intro to how to write a great story: A Roundup of Best Advice.
Jane says:

“Over the last five years, I’ve had the good fortune and privilege to feature storytelling advice from many bestselling authors, as well as editors and agents. Here’s a round-up of the best and most popular advice on writing craft and technique I’ve featured since 2011.”

Enjoy………

Learning How To Be An Author Means Much More Than Reading About How To Write…


Here I am again, out on the limb I’m so used to—sharing what I think

I think learning to write means Way more than reading about how to write. It also means more than just writing every day.

Let’s be clear, writing regularly to hone one’s craft and reading competent authors’ views on the profession definitely have their place in a writer’s growth.

Yet

There’s a lot more to learn—about life, about people, and about yourself.

I found a blog post about the average age at debut publication for 29 authors. It’s a shame the blog appeared to die about three years ago

For those authors, the average age of their debut was 32.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, there was a common saying about age, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty”.

I think the reason for the saying is that certain things usually happen around that age–a certain sprouting of maturity, a decided seriousness that begins to take hold, the beginning of a sober search for a solid identity.

By definition, youth is not maturity and the youthful spirit tends toward a carefree attitude which keeps the identity somewhat amorphous.

Of course, all generalizations are prone to falsification in specific instances. Yet, many generalizations have the germ of possible truth.

So, obviously, there are writers who mature in their early twenties. There are writers who know more at thirty than most writers will ever learn. And, there are writers who break all the “rules”

Still, knowing as much as possible about life is critical to a writer’s craft. Learning, at depth, what makes people the way they are is the solid ground of creating living characters. And, knowing oneself, though a task that never ends, is the component of a writer’s knowledge which brings everything to its proper place.

I’m still out on that limb and feel like admitting one of my basic beliefs: Writers are writers before they know they are. The urge to use words creatively is a disposition of a person’s character. Not everyone with that proclivity will end up pursuing writing but the people who labor, day after day, to craft new realities had the inclination before they learned what to do with it.

My favorite author, C. J. Cherryh, was 34 when her first book was published. She’s written over 60 and won numerous awards.

I’ll leave you with a few words, from The Night Bazaar, by Ms. Cherryh:

“Writing drives your interests in life. When they ask who wants to ride the elephant, you know suddenly you really need to do that, more than just about anybody. I draw the line at jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, but that’s because I’m a bit of a klutz, and if anybody would screw up the ripcord, it would be me.

“Travel is good for you. Meeting unfamiliar situations is bread and butter to you. Where do you get your ideas? You inhale them, breath by breath, and stale air is just not good for creativity.”

I can’t avoid leaving you with one more, ever so insightful, Cherryh quote:

“Deal with the Devil if the Devil has a constituency–and don’t complain about the heat.”
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