So it's my turn to post and I bet you're expecting me to show off the wonderful cover for my August release from Carina Press, Dead Silent. Well, no. The Carina artists are awesome and every cover is spectacular. I also suspect I've bored people to death by going on - and on - about my cover. So I'm not going to say a word about it. Not a word. Zilch.
Instead, I'm asking this group of mega-talented authors for advice. Recently, I've given talks to writers' groups and hosted a fiction writing workshop. There was one question that came up at every event. People stared at me, breath suspended, as they waited for my words of wisdom. The question?
What's the best piece of advice you could give a writer?
For what it's worth, this is how I reply:
1/. Write. Sounds obvious, yes? Well, it is. Write, write and write some more. Don't plan to write. Write. Write every day, even if you can only spare fifteen minutes. Write even when garbage is spewing from your fingertips. Writing is like a muscle. The more it's exercised, the stronger it becomes. Also, remember that words can be moved around, deleted or made stronger. It's impossible to edit a blank page.
2/. Read. Read recently published books in your chosen genre. See what works and what doesn't. Ask yourself what made the editor choose that particular book over the hundreds that land on her desk or in her Inbox.
3/. Write from the heart. Forget the fad that's currently taking the literary world by storm. By the time you've written something similar, people will have forgotten and moved on. Write the story you would love to read. If you're true to yourself, chances are an editor will love your story too.
4/. Stick to "he said" or "she said". "He said" belongs to your character. There's no need for you, as author, to go interfering.
5/. Remember that we write because it's what we love doing. Don't let deadlines or editorial requirements steal your passion.
I could go on about adverbs, cliches and those pesky words like "just" that, um, just creep in, but I'll leave it there. What advice can you offer? I'd love to know.
I'm off to deal with my own deadline now. Oh, wait. I hear voices. You want to see what? You do? Really? Hey, you're hurting my arm. Come back here with that chocolate. Okay, I give in. You win. It's here:
Dead Silent releases on August 22. :-)