Authors like to give each other writing advice. We sell books and think we’re good at it. Some of us are. Some of us need more practice. Some of us think we’re never going to be good enough.
I can tell you I’ve heard a lot of writing advice–some good and a lot not so good. One thing I can mention is that advice is cheap and it all depends on experience. Really. I’ve never used Scrivner or those programs, so I can’t give advice on those. I can’t really take advice on them either.
So…what advice would I share with you? The absolute best writing advice I’ve ever been given is to grow a thick hide, allow beta readers to tear your work apart, then polish that work, submit it and be ego-less when the editor suggests changes. I don’t mean let the editor run amok with your work. I mean, be open to working with the editor to make your work shine.
That’s my advice.
Why? It was given to me when I started and it took me a while to learn the lesson. It did. I also give that advice because no work, I don’t care how long you’ve been writing or how good you think you are, no work is perfect on the first draft. We all make mistakes. We have things like he drooped his arms around her waist, instead of his DRAPED his arms around her waist. We have THEIR, THEY’RE, and THERE mistakes. We have eyes that change color from one page to another. We have story arcs that sometimes get forgotten. If you have help BEFORE you submit the work, and polish before, you’ll be much happier with the feedback. Some, but not all, of the problems will be dealt with. It’ll look better.
But about that thick hide thing. So no work is perfect, right? The editor, if he or she is good, will work to make your story better. They won’t do anything to the story that will jack it up. If they have the best interest of the story at heart, trust me, they will make it shine. Some will be blunter than others, but they aren’t out to tear you down. You have to be willing to accept and consider the changes. You can’t demand the editor is ruining your voice if they edit the work. We have sentences that don’t make sense. There are more concise ways of saying things. We repeat ourselves. It happens.
That’s my advice and the best I’ve been given. What about you? What’s the best advice, writing-wise, you’ve ever been given? Share!