5 for Friday: Writing Advice and Reflections on the Process

Author:
Publish date:

Happy Friday, All. I found some great writing advice and writing reflections in The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction and thought I’d share it with all of you… Enjoy and happy writing!

1.Edwidge Danticat on finishing…

The biggest obstacle in terms of the writing itself is finding something that keeps you writing and allows you to finish pieces. I was always struggling with that self-doubt about what I was doing, sometimes with the material, sometimes with the process itself. Someone gave me the best advice I’ve ever had. I couldn’t finish anything I had started because they never lived up to what I had in my mind, and this friend said that my writing never matched my vision because the mind is infinite and there are only so many words in any language. Once I settled with that, I could continue to write

2.Chang-rae Lee on individuality…

Don’t listen to anyone else. Its great to get opinions and advice, but you need to follow the particular private passion and obsession that you have for a story, giving no quarter to anything else. In the end, that’s where writers come up with something unique. That’s why novels still mean something even in this age—they’re distinctive performances, utterly singular and surprising. Follow your passion. Feed your obsessions and in the end that will work best.

3.Jayne Anne Phillips on language...

It’s the same process no matter what I’m working on. I work according to language. I work starting with language, so that my process is simply to work my way into the next sentence. Sustaining the voice of a book is level one, where I have to stay to move forward. I work very slowly, until I find my way into the middle of the book and I know what to write next by reading what I’ve already written until I know where to go next.

4.Lynn Freed on place...

When the writing comes properly, the place is there, available to me. If I have to strain to know a place, I’m in the wrong fiction. I’m always saying to students that one must colonize the territory of the fiction. It is the only metaphor that seems to carry with it the presumptuousness of fiction, the sense of making a place one’s own. In this case, I mean it literally. One has to make it one’s own, so that, in a way, it is more than real; it is assumed.

5.Joyce Thompson on beginning...

After you have the kernel of a book in mind, hold off starting to write it as long as you can, until you absolutely can’t wait any longer. All the time you’re not writing, your subconscious is writing anyway, so when you actually do start, you know a good deal more of the story than you imagined.

 ***

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Debut novelist Lacie Waldon discusses how her agent encouraged her to write what she knew, but then her editor made her realize that what she thought was boring might not be the case.

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use pedal and peddle with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Debut author Marissa Levien discusses how she always knew what the beginning and the end of her science fiction novel The World Gives Way would be, but that the middle remained elusive.

Drawing the Line for Withholding Secrets in Young Adult and Middle-Grade Novels

Drawing the Line for Withholding Secrets in Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels

Middle-grade and young adult author Ren Koppel Torres shares the top tips for how you can keep secrets from your characters and readers.

Payal Doshi: On Letting Rejection Bring You Clarity

Payal Doshi: On Letting Rejection Bring You Clarity

Middle-grade author Payal Doshi discusses the sometimes-disheartening process of querying a novel and how she used rejection to fuel her passion for writing.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Writer’s Digest Conference Announcements and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce that our 2021 Annual Conference will be virtual, registration is open for our 2021 in-person Novel Conference, and more!

Rajani LaRocca: On Letting Your Synopsis Guide Your Writing

Rajani LaRocca: On Letting Your Synopsis Guide Your Writing

In this article, middle-grade author Rajani LaRocca discusses how the synopsis for her newest release, Much Ado About Baseball, guided her writing process.

From Script

Adding Your Personal Connection to Your Stories and Building Your Brand As a Writer (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, Script’s Editor Sadie Dean interviews Dickinson creator/showrunner/EP Alena Smith, learn how to divide and conquer as screenwriter in the business and creating fruitful relationships. Plus, a brand new Script Talk video interview with writer/director/actress Djaka Souaré about her journey as a mentor and mentee in the WOCUnite and #StartWith8Hollywood mentorship programs.