A Not At All Serious Discussion of Writing
Someone asked me for advice the other day.
Writing advice. I rolled my eyes. The day must come, eventually, I suppose, when any writer is asked for writing advice.
Never accept advice on writing. Nobody knows anything. Honestly.
When I was still unpublished and insecure about my own writing, I scoured countless books on writing advice in the hopes of discovering the Golden Gem of Writing Wisdom, an ephemeral, onlywhispered- about-in-dark-alleys bit of ultimate writing advice that ensures an excellent story, inside and out. Guess what? I didn’t find the Golden Gem. Instead, I was so exhausted from adventuring, seeking, and fleeing (Indiana Jones movie, anyone?) that it took me a very long time before I was able to pick up a pen again; and, with a trembling hand, write a few words.
You see, everybody has advice to offer, but everyone likes and dislikes different things. Thus, you find ‘How to Write’ books (interesting concept, isn’t it, a book on how to write a book? What about a book on how to write a book on how to write a book?) rife with contradictions and, in some cases, just plain stupidity: one book I read had a pages-long list of writing rules for beginners to remember; and the last rule was: “Don’t be afraid to break rules!” So what was the point of our memorizing those pages of rules?
Now comes the predictable part of this post. Though I advise people not to accept writing advice, I can’t help but indulge my hot-air-filled author’s ego and attempt to offer helpful hints. My inner mage-mentor is chuckling gleefully and rubbing her hands together. She loves this. She really does.
Belle DiMonté, age 16, loves writing, reading Latin, and brewing tea. She’s been frequently published and has just finished writing her first novel. Find out more about her work at belleofmountains.wordpress.com.