The problem with ‘writing advice’ is that it’s like trying to advise someone on how to be funny in social situations. If you know funny people, when you compare them they’re funny in different ways. The methods that they use to arrive at their humour are different, and their jokes are different. When it comes to writing, if you try to think up even the most basic rule – “Write things!” then at times, even that falls down. So I can’t really give great writing advice, nor do I have any idea what it would be. What I can tell you are some things that have helped me to progress in the craft.
You’ve finished your manuscript.
You’ve edited, re-edited, edited until you know every line by heart.
It’s fine, it’s ready.
You send it out.
And then comes the first rejection slip.
Even though I make my living writing the thing that I love the most, I still feel embarrassed when I tell a new acquaintance about what I do, even though I love my job, and they live for the brief respite at the weekend. This blog talks about how negative cultural associations continue to affect the way I feel about my life.
You’ve written a book. An agent loved it. Publishers loved it. You got an advance. You can live on it! Your book comes out to rave reviews. You’re interviewed in SFX and Sci-fi Now. You have a blog tour. You tour book shops. You go to conventions. You meet all your heroes. You go to GRRM’s party. You meet people in publishing, and they’re the best people you’ve ever met. You meet authors, and finally you can talk to someone who knows what it’s like.
Oh, and did I mention how dreadful things might just feel?
Everyone knows that literary fiction is the best form of fiction and that popular books are written by mere hacks spouting garbage for the unwashed, illiterate masses who can barely understand a story, let alone a sentence that has taken 12 hours of deliberation. As such I am rewriting the whole of Blackwing into a more literary style. Here’s a taster.
Well, this might be the stupidest thing that I’ve ever written but what the hell. A Valentine’s Day inspired short about Nenn and Galharrow going speed-courting. Like the Christmas special, this is probably not canon…
Having just finished the line edit for RAVENCRY, I’ve noticed that it has changed the way that I’m writing the draft of the next book in the Raven’s Mark series. Editing can sometimes feel like an isolated process, so I decided that I’d share the way that I’m approaching writing now.