My Main Writing Advice

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I was dogsitting yesterday down in Enfield, in north London – watching our (former) hound at my in-laws, where he lives now:

Between walkies, I made myself write some…

In 2012, I did not even imagine I had four novels in me by 2017. The fourth, Conventions, is, as you may know, an “outsized” action/adventure, historical romance of the 1780s-90s.

[Conventions: The Garden At Paris, front and back print covers. Passports, Frontiers, and Distances, front covers.]

The fifth will follow on from Conventions. Some characters will be back. New characters will appear. It will be a continuation of the story, yet will also stand alone. I’ve decided that next one will not be a sequel so much as another in a series which allows a reader to plunge into that next volume without reading Conventions – although, of course, I would hope he or she would do so. πŸ˜‰

I will also admit that, having finished Conventions, worriedly I have thought to myself: I don’t know if I can better it, really…

Doubts began to set in more than ever after finishing a book. Despite my resolution on the next book, I have been procrastinating somewhat in working on it.

I’m also not here to try to “teach” anyone how to write. I wouldn’t even try to do that. Yet lots of other people clearly are overflowing with suggestions: for goodness sakes, this is a quick screen shot of a tiny fraction of the #writing tag at Pinterest:

[Screenshot of a small segment of the #writing hashtag at Pinterest.]

Having learned recently that guys are evidently, uh, now welcome over there, I joined.πŸ˜‚ I had seen that early yesterday and also posted it to Instagram.

Seeing all of that, I considered how I felt about it. My main writing advice: don’t obsess over advice. And particularly don’t focus on “writing to slogans” to satisfy others. Everyone has, and will have, an opinion.

Just write. As my (now late) novelist uncle had once told me, there is no “magical formula.” What appears on your pages is the sum total of what you are: your life outlook, reading, education, and general experiences. Fiction is art, not an assembly line.

He was also my godfather; and he was, essentially, an atheist as well. See, something for a character right there. Likely you have much the same in your life too somewhere. πŸ˜‰

When it gets toughest is when you have to work the hardest. And there will be many times like that. When you have them, you just have to fight through them.

Have a good weekend, wherever you are. πŸ™‚

4 comments

      1. There is a good joke about Virgo:
        A hippo fell in love with a bird and proposed her.
        ‘Nay! I can’t get married with you!’ the bird answered.
        ‘Why? Am I not good enough for you?’
        ‘There is a serious problem: you’re a Scorpio & I’m a Virgo’.
        πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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