I'm going to begin with this post and picture by my Facebook friend, Melodye Shore:
"You can't see the hummingbird hatchlings from this angle; it's not likely you saw her nest, either--at first glance, anyway. And so it is with writing. You have to explore an idea from all angles, examine it from multiple points of view before gaining a full understanding of what it is, exactly, that your story's really about."
If you look closely, you'll see a hummingbird nest in this fuchsia.
Jody Staton, an author and copy editor, posted a great tool on Kathy Temean's blog. Three Editor's Tools for Writers encourages you to compile chapter summaries, a character list, and a style sheet while you're writing your book. This will save you time and energy and help you create a publishable book.
Joyce Hostetter, author of BLUE, COMFORT and HEALING WATER says, "Write no unnecessary words. Actually, go ahead ahead and write them. But when you recognize them, delete fearlessly! And stack each word and sentence for the most powerful impact possible."
Emily Smith Pierce, author of Isabel and the Miracle Baby and SLOWPOKE, says, "Writing usually starts out as a solitary process, but to get better, you need to collaborate. Seek out readers and other writers who will give you honest (yet encouraging) feedback."
Halli Gomez remembers this tidbit she heard from young adult science fiction writer Beth Revis at an SCBWI-Carolinas conference: "If you think you will only have one great idea for a book, don't worry. More will come and they will be even better."
Martina Boone, author of compulsion contributes, "My biggest tip for writers is to read widely, certainly within their chosen age group and genre but also in general. That’s so obvious, but it’s astonishing how many YA (young adult) writers don’t actually read YA, or enough YA, and that’s necessarily not just for marketing, but for knowing your audience and the competition."
At the end of this mini-series of blogs I'm going to giveaway Nancy Kress's book, Beginnings, Middles & Ends. If you leave a comment on my blog with a tip and I use it, I'll enter your name in this giveaway.
Glad to see you have so many wise and wonderful friends! Thanks for spreading the wisdom around.
I loved the advice and the photo! I found the nest!!! So my little advice is: pay attention.
Ah, good advice, Vijaya--Melodye will love that! Your advice will be coming up soon!
I'm so glad you found the nest, Vijaya. And I love your "little advice," which is actually huge, and oh-so important!
Great to read the others' advice! And I totally agree.
Thanks everyone. This is fun!
This is a lot of fun. I particularly like Joyce's advice. It made me smile. My advice is to put it away for a good while before revising.
Rosi- Thanks for that tidbit. I'll use it in an upcoming post! SO hard to do though, isn't it?
Love the photo lesson. I'm going to check out each of these nuggets of wisdom. Thanks!
A tip: Check out resources highly recommended by the writing community: blogs, workshops, book reviews, tips on listservs,etc. Actively participate. Join in discussions, leave comments, enter contests. Priceless opportunities.
Thanks, LInda. You're a good example of that! It's all about learning, isn't it? I'll use your tip!
Great tips. Thanks for sharing them this way. I am beginning an extensive revision and working hard to cut what needs to be cut, but it helps to remember that what is cut doesn't need to be trashed. It can be saved to be used another day. Maybe it won't, but it's easier to cut when I have that mindset.
Thanks, Kathy. Glad you enjoyed this blog and will add your tip to an upcoming post.
Carol, thank you for passing on such great advice! I love Joyce's "delete fearlessly" that is a great motto and something I have trouble doing sometimes! :)
Thanks Kathleen. More coming up next week!
Thanks, Carol. Wise words.
My tidbit is when you are revising (a.k.a. cutting)words, sentences, paragraphs don't just throw them away. That's too emotional for many of us.
Open a "shards" or "discards" file for each WIP and save those cuttings. You'll be able to use them another day in another project.
Thanks, Jean. I'll add that to my post on revision! nicely said.
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