Author Topic: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?  (Read 525 times)

Cabbages and kings

What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« on: May 29, 2022, 06:36:10 AM »
Hi everyone. :)

What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?

You can write multiple answers. :)
 

R. C.

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Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2022, 09:30:21 AM »
Read: Steven King's On Writing - RIGHT NOW!

This: Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway on How to Write Fiction

And, this: 15 Writing Habits for Author Success

More: How to Start Writing a Novel

The point is: There is a LOT of information providing writing tips.

For me: The best tips come from my editors.  I ALWAYS evaluate their comments and use or discard the advice.

R.C.

Before anyone asks, an example of discarded advice: One editor did not know the loo/pisser/crapper/can/wc is called the Head on a ship.
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TimothyEllis

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Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2022, 12:15:36 PM »
Not read or heard, but discovered:

Proofing is better when you read it on a different device than it was written on.

There's something about reading in a different font, size, and page layout that makes the brain see what is really there, instead of what it thinks is there.

Heard: Other people swear that having it read back to you by speech to text is also a great way to proof.

Second On Writing.

Advice I give:

Page 1, drop the MC into the middle of the action and run with it for 3 to 5 chapters. When it's done, you can go back and cover how they go there.

Never start with world building.
Never start with history lessons.
Never start with infodumps.
Never start boring.

The reader does NOT need to understand anything before you introduce the main character. The reader is there for the journey, and the only time complete understanding is necessary is on the last page of the book. One of the biggest mistakes made by first time authors is thinking that all the stuff in their head is necessary for the reader to know up front. They don't. The reader wants to be invested in a character(s), and discover the world through their eyes. You feed world building and history to the reader as the characters experience it and need to know, not as a giant infodump to start with.

Starting with a character who then dies to introduce the main character is a really bad way to start. (Personal hate).

Another personal hate is the 'kill your darlings' recommendation. As someone now writing novel 51 in the same universe, there is never a reason to kill main characters, or any secondary character. You just use them as a pool of characters and they're off doing something else while the current narrative is happening. There is always the potential for a sequel or spin off at a later time, and if you kill someone, you then have to contrive a way of bringing them back, all of which highlight the fact you killed off someone you shouldn't have in the first place. This is not tv or movies. They fire actors, actors leave, they kill the character. Books don't have those concerns. All you do is change the location, have people change jobs, change something that moves people around. Then they are always there to bring back any time they fit back into the narrative.

To put that another way, think wider than you write. Even in a narrow focus story there is always a wider universe going on around it. The story doesn't need to know, but there is always somewhere for a character to go if you want to write them out of the current narrative. It allows you to bring them back at any time, or shift the entire story to where they went.

On writing itself: Establish a writing habit. Sit down in the same place at the same time every day with the intention to write for a specific time. When you do that enough, your brain gets wired to do that, and then it makes you do that even when you otherwise might not. It gets the words done every day, and ensures the story always keeps moving forward. Once it becomes your normal, no matter how you feel, the writing takes over for that time.
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sliderule

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2022, 09:28:51 PM »
Kill your darlings doesn't just mean kill your characters. It has a wider meaning of don't be afraid to remove issues in your story that sound golden in your ear but really serve no purpose to the overall story. Although I agree with your overall assessment, Tim. Characters don't need to be removed from a story. Let them come on, do their thing, then go to live their best lives offscreen. They can always be used again.

Advice I received that has worked for me:

Edit backwards. Start with the last paragraph of the book and move forward one paragraph at a time. Sounds counterintuitive but it's a great way to catch stuff you wouldn't normally catch reading it linearly from the beginning.

Investigate writer's block instead of flopping around bemoaning that you have writer's block. It may not be a block but your subconscious saying something's not right earlier in the story. Backtrack and see where you may have taken a wrong turn, introduced or dropped something that shouldn't be there. Weirdly enough, if you're not afraid to rewrite something or move it around (IOW kill your darlings=don't stay married to your golden prose or idea) it usually clears the writer's block.

What works for one author may not work for you. Doesn't make the other author's advice bad or wrong, just not right for you. Roll with it and keep at it until you find what does works.

And echo what Tim said. Make writing a habit. Show up to write. If you can squeeze out one sentence, then you can squeeze out another. It's better than nothing. Set a time limit that you won't get up until that time is up.

Don't fight your intuition. If something works, do that. If or when it doesn't work, then do something else.

 
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notthatamanda

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2022, 10:16:23 PM »
I like read aloud for editing.

I would sit down and write and outline. Er, an outline ish thing. Just a chapter number and a sentence or two with what the chapter was going to be about. Then I'd start writing. I wouldn't look at the outline, unless I got stuck, then it reminded me of what I thought was important at the beginning of the process.

I'd write long hand, then type it in and print it. I'd start each session reading what I printed, correct it and then start writing when I got to the end of what I had already done. Supposedly longhand uses a different part of your brain than writing while you type, it really flows out of me quicker with longhand.
 
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Vijaya

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2022, 03:30:07 AM »
Write daily, have a routine.
Read good books.
Read your work aloud.
If you get stuck, work on something else.
Write what excites you.
Teach! I found that teaching makes you better at whatever it is you're teaching, from chemistry to writing.
Take a class to stretch yourself.
Keep at it. Persevere.


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Hopscotch

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2022, 05:03:30 AM »
#1 writing tip from a friend whose every book is a bestseller:  Get lucky.  No matter how good your writing, if it doesn't strike the right reader nerve at the right moment in the reading culture, you will sell zilch.  His #2 tip:  Never never never stop writing.  No matter how frustrated you become, keep at it.  And have fun.
 
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2022, 05:53:48 AM »
When you've finished a draft and it's time to start editing it, look at it on a different device than the one you wrote it on.  If you have a Kindle, convert the file to mobi and read it on your Kindle.  You'll "see" all sorts of mistakes and whatnot that you wouldn't have seen otherwise.  It really is like seeing your book with fresh eyes.  This may sound like a sort of half-baked Jedi mind trick, but it works.
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sliderule

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2022, 10:09:13 PM »
Read good books.

I'm always curious when writers say this.

What is a 'good book'? Does rank make it a good book? Number of sales? Well-respected reviews? Number of recommendations?

To my literal mind, I question this advice, or as Becca Syme says I 'QTP' it's efficacy. Is there an objective way to determine what is a 'good book'?

Once on a forum, I mentioned an author I loved to read and I thought he was a good writer. I was thoroughly trounced on the forum with people telling me he was a sh*t writer. This was an author who was published by a publishing house.

I thought he was good. Others didn't. Who was right?
 
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Vijaya

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2022, 12:28:41 AM »
Read good books.

I'm always curious when writers say this.

What is a 'good book'? Does rank make it a good book? Number of sales? Well-respected reviews? Number of recommendations?

It's subjective. But I mean the books that speak to your own heart. These I read over and over because they are like old friends. And a corollary to that writing tip is to read critically what you do enjoy to examine the patterns that emerge. I often do this with even books I didn't care for to see where I lost interest, to understand the why.


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alhawke

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2022, 12:36:04 AM »
After you're done with your manuscript, discard the first three chapters. Works every time.
(I figure it's all about starting with action, like Timothy's talking about^^).


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R. C.

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Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2022, 02:17:38 AM »
When you've finished a draft and it's time to start editing it, look at it on a different device than the one you wrote it on.  If you have a Kindle, convert the file to mobi and read it on your Kindle.  You'll "see" all sorts of mistakes and whatnot that you wouldn't have seen otherwise.  It really is like seeing your book with fresh eyes.  This may sound like a sort of half-baked Jedi mind trick, but it works.

King says a couple of things in his book.  Paraphrasing, the final draft is the rough draft minus twenty percent.  Less is more.  Also, he says put your "final draft" away for six weeks. Fresh eyes are amazing when the words have been out of your head for a long while. 

When I return to edit, I recommend: Either have your work read aloud to you (ex: MC Word Read Aloud) or read it outloud to yourself.  Hearing the words has a resonance that you may, or may not, have intended.

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sliderule

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2022, 11:47:19 PM »
Read good books.

I'm always curious when writers say this.

What is a 'good book'? Does rank make it a good book? Number of sales? Well-respected reviews? Number of recommendations?

It's subjective. But I mean the books that speak to your own heart. These I read over and over because they are like old friends. And a corollary to that writing tip is to read critically what you do enjoy to examine the patterns that emerge. I often do this with even books I didn't care for to see where I lost interest, to understand the why.

Which is the problem with soundbite advice. When you say books that speak to your own heart, it has a very different connotation in meaning than read good books. Which I agree with. There's something that resonates with me when I have books that are my favorite and seeking to capture that, does require to examine it closer to figure it out. And as writers, we benefit from that closer analysis.

I'm still working on the reading critically part, though. If it's a book I enjoy, I tend to get sucked into the story again and forget I'm supposed to be reading with a critical eye.  If it's a book I am not enjoying, I end up fighting with myself to keep that critical eye to figure out why I don't because it's my tendency to put a book down if it doesn't capture me.
 

Eric Thomson

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2022, 12:10:49 AM »
Here's a tip:

Don't waste time on the internet.

 grint
 
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Vijaya

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2022, 12:26:48 AM »
Here's a tip:

Don't waste time on the internet.

 grint

So true. Or the TV.

I'm still working on the reading critically part, though. If it's a book I enjoy, I tend to get sucked into the story again and forget I'm supposed to be reading with a critical eye.  If it's a book I am not enjoying, I end up fighting with myself to keep that critical eye to figure out why I don't because it's my tendency to put a book down if it doesn't capture me.

This is just one of the reasons I read the books I love over and over.

Btw, I like your avatar. I don't have my sliderule anymore. What's your story?


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R. C.

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Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2022, 01:27:12 AM »
...
Btw, I like your avatar. I don't have my sliderule anymore. What's your story?

I have a TI-84 Plus calculator I will sell.   :doh:

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sliderule

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2022, 09:48:20 PM »

This is just one of the reasons I read the books I love over and over.

Btw, I like your avatar. I don't have my sliderule anymore. What's your story?

I'm old school science enough that I learned to use a slide rule because I couldn't afford the calculators at the time since they were first coming out and were crazy expensive.

Then, my dad also being old school had a collection of them. When he died, I inherited them from him. I think they're amazing technology for a simpler time. And they're pretty neat.
 

Vijaya

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2022, 02:46:51 AM »
That's so great! I also think sliderules are an amazing invention, along with many concepts of mathematics. I didn't get my first calculator until the 1980s and they were expensive!


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LilyBLily

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2022, 03:50:37 AM »
I'm a new fan of Becca Syme, ever since she did a presentation to my RWA chapter and said that pantsters are writing while they're apparently idly thinking. She didn't tell me how to write, but she did validate my method.

Most of the writing tips I hear are really editing tips.

My own best is: join a short-term writing challenge, a month at most, and commit to the word count. A stubborn desire to post increasing numbers will help you keep on going through all sorts of story slumps. "Write every day" makes me freeze up, but "get 1667 words every day for 30 days" or "write 30k words in 30 days" is a challenge I'm willing to accept.

 
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Anarchist

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2022, 09:07:03 AM »
From Harlan Coben:

"The secret is to just kind of push through it. There comes a time when you finally have to get to work. It’s why I love this quote: 'Amateurs wait for the muse to arrive; the rest of us just get to work.' That’s my own paraphrase of it, but I love that, because it’s so true. I remind myself sometimes that I’m a working man, and not an artist. A plumber can’t call up and say, “Oh, I can’t do pipes today.”

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LilyBLily

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2022, 10:40:01 PM »
I've seen many would-be writers with great opening scenes and no idea where to take them. The secret is indeed to push through, just keep adding words until the hopeless mess becomes a coherent story. If they sit down and keep writing, the next scenes will come.
 

Hopscotch

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2022, 11:50:10 PM »
The secret is indeed to push through, just keep adding words until the hopeless mess becomes a coherent story....sit down and keep writing, the next scenes will come.

That is entirely true and also not.  I agree, Always push on.  But 90% of writing is days/weeks of jumbled thought that mysteriously translates into sensible words on a page.  If your writing stumbles, jumble some more and stand prepared for the unexpected.
 

The Bass Bagwhan

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2022, 10:09:54 PM »
Someone asked, "What is a good book?" My take is slightly different. As an editor, I often see manuscripts that are truly awful. And I think to myself, "Did the author never think to take a decent, published book from a bookshelf and compare the writing to theirs? Can't they see the very obvious flaws and lack of craft?"
Lurid and over-the-top dialogue tags are a frequent tell-tale. You never see them in good published works. Why the heck do indie authors think they're good craft? One author used "stated" instead of "said." Really, how often will you see that in any book on a bricks-and-mortar bookstore shelf?
 
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PJ Post

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2022, 01:08:04 AM »
Art is comprised of two components, the objective craft part (hard work) and the creative talent part (DNA). (Sports works the same way.)

We can all give advice on the craft part because there are only so many ways to go about it and they've all been done. If this was a chair building forum, we'd all have advice on how to cut the wood, shape it, the tools needed, the best glues, the best joints - for every style of chair ever done.

But if someone asks how do I make people want to sit in it, the conversation gets pretty vague pretty fast.

For example, in books we know we want engagement, which means creating empathy. We know we need at minimum an interesting main character, but preferably a likeable one, especially for a series. We can quote Save the Cat, but the actual doing it part within the narrative - the words part - is fairly abstract...

Unless you 'get it' at the creative talent level.

If you don't...writing is going to be a tough row to hoe**.

One example here is Architecture. Schools can teach all of the mechanics and life safety necessary to ensure the building doesn't collapse or kill anyone, but all of the PhD's in the world can't teach creativity. You either live with your head in the clouds imagining 'what if' or you don't.

Books are Art. Some Art is all creative talent, passion without constraints. Generally speaking, this isn't very satisfying. Some Art is all technique, perfect execution, but is also emotionally lacking and therefore unfulfilling.

But when talent meets up with dedication to the craft you get amazing, often iconic Art.

Part of the The Dunning–Kruger effect that gets routinely overlooked is that truly knowledgeable people of specific subjects tend to believe that everyone else understands the subject more or less as well as they do. And, of course, the truth is they don't.

This is why writing advice is so problematic.

I like Chuck Wendig's take on writing advice, of which he gives quite a lot. "All writing advice is bullsh*t anyway, but bullsh*t can sometimes fertilize."

Johan Scalzi is another writer who gives pretty good writing advice. I like his advice too, but, just to illustrate how tricky the subject is - I don't really care for either of their books.

**To reuse the chair analogy, you don't need to reimagine the chair or invent new ways of sitting to make a sh*t ton of money building chairs - or publishing books. You just work on the craft part and do what's already been done. There's a huge market for 'more of the same' Art, from music to painting to movies, tv shows - and books.

___

From Harlan Coben:

'Amateurs wait for the muse to arrive; the rest of us just get to work'.

While I agree with the general principle, the problem here is that most writers don't have his talent to push them through. They may understand the craft and mechanics of it all, but coming up with the clever bits that keep readers up all night turning pages can't be found in advice books, degrees or internet forums. I can't say for sure what it is (nature v nurture), but I don't think it can be learned.

Lots of amazing writers don't see themselves as anything special, certainly not Artists. And it's not humility, it's Dunning–Kruger again. I'm, sure Coben truly believes it's just a matter of rolling up your sleeves. It's not.

___

On the talent DNA thing, we're drawn to what we like, which often aligns with our natural talents. Good athletes follow that natural talent from an early age, immersing themselves in sport. Musicians spend insane amounts of time with their instruments, painters constantly doodle - because that's who they are, it's not work, it's a love affair. Few amazing writers can remember a time when they didn't write, not to publish, but just for the sake of writing.

___

Lastly, sales and "quality" (whatever that means to you personally) are two completely different metrics.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2022, 02:00:57 AM by PJ Post »
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2022, 01:19:43 AM »
Few amazing writers can remember a time when they didn't write, not to publish, but just for the sake of writing.

I'm not saying I fit into the 'amazing' category, but I do keep getting told readers can't put my books down.

My thing is the complete opposite.

I'm amazed these days at how high school beat writing out of me totally, and except for some brief odd bits of creative embellishment, it was around 30 years later before art type creative stuff started appearing again. And only 7 years ago when I started doing it properly.

Now I can't understand how I went for so long not writing at all.
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Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2022, 03:23:33 AM »
Someone asked, "What is a good book?" My take is slightly different. As an editor, I often see manuscripts that are truly awful. And I think to myself, "Did the author never think to take a decent, published book from a bookshelf and compare the writing to theirs? Can't they see the very obvious flaws and lack of craft?"
Lurid and over-the-top dialogue tags are a frequent tell-tale. You never see them in good published works. Why the heck do indie authors think they're good craft? One author used "stated" instead of "said." Really, how often will you see that in any book on a bricks-and-mortar bookstore shelf?

The whole point is that "said" and "asked" are effectively invisible to the reader. The last thing you want to do is call unnecessary attention to your dialogue tags. It gets in the way of the dialogue itself.
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alhawke

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2022, 03:59:17 AM »
The whole point is that "said" and "asked" are effectively invisible to the reader. The last thing you want to do is call unnecessary attention to your dialogue tags. It gets in the way of the dialogue itself.
I've learned to delete tags unless absolutely necessary because of my Editor. It's like words. Sometimes conveying just what you need with the least amount of words is best.  Maybe that's a writing tip too? It's totally Hemingway.


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PJ Post

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2022, 06:35:52 AM »
The whole point is that "said" and "asked" are effectively invisible to the reader. The last thing you want to do is call unnecessary attention to your dialogue tags. It gets in the way of the dialogue itself.

I've learned to delete tags unless absolutely necessary because of my Editor. It's like words. Sometimes conveying just what you need with the least amount of words is best.  Maybe that's a writing tip too? It's totally Hemingway.

I think it is and it isn't.

Unfortunately, there are no sweeping rules/tips about writing - just 'better' practices. I think you said it perfectly - "Sometimes..." I think the trick is understanding how narratives work, the limitations and opportunities of voice and tense, the mechanics of emotion, flow and rhythm, and most importantly, pacing - all from the sentence level on up. Our writing has to serve whatever the story goals are for any given moment, which means knowing which tools to use and when. It's easy to spot when a writer slips up, they're like clunky edits in film, the ones that remind you you're watching a movie - they kick you out of the story. If this happens too many times, your readers won't finish the book and you'll lose a fan.

With that said, I do believe it's important to learn the rules as best we can (a never ending journey to be sure) just so we can get better at breaking them.

Perhaps, and I'm just throwing this out there (sorry if this derails the thread), that rather than trying to identify specific tips or rules (which are everywhere on the internet these days, not to mention that many of us here have been writing for some time), the discussion might work better if we discuss specific traps, such as pacing, openings or prologues. For example, how long do emotional moments need to breathe, and how do we write around an issue so that the reader can enjoy all of the feelz, as well as catch their breath? But not by putting the book down! Like what to consider from a structural perspective.
 

The Bass Bagwhan

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2022, 08:26:04 PM »

Perhaps, and I'm just throwing this out there (sorry if this derails the thread), that rather than trying to identify specific tips or rules (which are everywhere on the internet these days, not to mention that many of us here have been writing for some time), the discussion might work better if we discuss specific traps, such as pacing, openings or prologues. For example, how long do emotional moments need to breathe, and how do we write around an issue so that the reader can enjoy all of the feelz, as well as catch their breath? But not by putting the book down! Like what to consider from a structural perspective.

One problem I see a lot is writers structuring their narrative according to the time-line it takes them to write it, rather than the time required to read it. So they drop In reminders and reiterate backstory because it feels to them like weeks ago the info was last revealed. But for the reader, it's like ten minutes ago. Writers need to have a little faith in readers keeping track of things.
 
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Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2022, 09:19:17 PM »
One problem I see a lot is writers structuring their narrative according to the time-line it takes them to write it, rather than the time required to read it. So they drop In reminders and reiterate backstory because it feels to them like weeks ago the info was last revealed. But for the reader, it's like ten minutes ago. Writers need to have a little faith in readers keeping track of things.

The same goes with books in a serial series.

The conventional wisdom is a recap at the beginning of each book, or constant reminders as the new one goes along, but the reality is people binge read series, and they don't need any of it.

Some minor reminders are a good thing, but the recap is just boring repetition.

One problem is, editors and proofreaders never binge read, so they forget things, and then demand the author put in the recap and the reminders.

When I re-edited my first 5 books, I removed a lot of the recap. Just left different perspectives looking back. Even then, it's too much.

I gave up doing anything like that again from book 6 on.

If you write it right, the reminders get included in dialogue when someone who was there updates someone who was not, with something which bares on something now. So it's needed in the story line, not as a reminder for the reader.

A big mistake made by some new authors is they model after the tv practice of recapping at the beginning of every episode. And I hate that in tv, let alone books.

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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RiverRun

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2022, 11:13:55 PM »
For me, writing a novel felt like an impossible task until I started reading and re-reading a lot of books that are considered classics. Literary masterpieces, usually older books. If a book is still being read decades or centuries after it was written, it probably has some value to it. That's part of the problem with identifying "good books" among contemporary books. There hasn't been enough time for them to prove themselves.

Some writers are good storytellers, and we can enjoy and love their books even if they are mediocre or poor writers. Some books are just fun to read, even if they are not particularly well written. But if you seek out some of the classics and compare them with contemporary authors, you can usually tell which books are more likely to be considered 'good'. I finished college as an english major without ever reading Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre, (both were assigned, I just didn't read them. The professors were extremely condescending toward some of the reading assignments they gave us. Not much incentive to read them.) Those are probably the books that have influenced me the most as a writer. It helps that I wanted to read them later on. But in both books, both plot and character stood out from a mile away. All the writing advice I had read finally began to make sense when I saw it being to put to work so effectively.

So, yes, reading good books is important. I've also read advice from, T.H. White I think? Or C. S. Forrester. Can't remember which, to read widely of many genres, which I also think is really wise. Read it thoughtfully now and then, and stop and consider whether the book works for you or not. By all means read a book by a "bad" writer if you enjoy it. They must be doing something right if you like the book. See if you can figure out what it is.

Write a lot and revise a lot. Revising is harder than writing in my opinion, and takes time to learn. Experienced writers are fast at revising because they learned to go slowly over their work at some stage of their lives. Consequently, we beginners assume that revising shouldn't have to be particularly time consuming or involved. But it is. Until it becomes built in to the writing and decision making process.
 
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Hopscotch

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2022, 02:49:03 AM »
Write a lot and revise a lot. Revising is harder than writing in my opinion, and takes time to learn....beginners assume that revising shouldn't have to be particularly time consuming or involved. But it is. Until it becomes built in to the writing and decision making process.

Bingo.  The great Sergei Eisenstein (Alexander Nevsky) said a film is made in the editing.  So, too, is a book.
 
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alhawke

Re: What are the best writing tips you ever heard/read?
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2022, 05:28:49 AM »
Unfortunately, there are no sweeping rules/tips about writing - just 'better' practices.
Got no disagreement from me there. Experienced writers know when to break the rules for the betterment of their tale.
The conventional wisdom is a recap at the beginning of each book, or constant reminders as the new one goes along, but the reality is people binge read series, and they don't need any of it.
I never recap. But one of the challenges I've had in series books is making subsequent books work as standalones while still having all the books flow from one to the next.  I personally find it hard to determine how much to put in and how much to leave out.
Write a lot and revise a lot.
It seems like half my work on writing now is revising. And revising. And revising. When I started, I had the silly belief that the first manuscript was it.


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