by Ruth Harris on the Anne R. Allen site:
Ruth and Anne wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2018.
As Anne wrote earlier this month, you run into a lot of bogus information about writing in the Internet age. Other advice you run into can be helpful…but be wary of taking it all as gospel.
Remember that rigid rules usually lead to wooden, awkward writing.
In the end, what will nail that book and make your writing sing is getting into that flow where the muse takes over and the words pour out onto the page. That’s hard to do when you’re trying to follow dozens of rules. Especially when some of the “rules” make no sense.
What you want to pay attention to are writing guidelines, not rules. And remember that we all started as beginners. As a beginner, you’ll make all the mistakes beginners make. Some of them will be whoppers. But you can fix them later. That’s what editing is for.
Writing is a complex craft and it takes a lot of practice to get really good at it.
And publishing, like everything else, goes through fashion cycles. Something that’s wildly popular in one decade may become taboo in another. Many things you’re told are “wrong” may simply be out of fashion. Chances are it will come back in style again in some new incarnation.
The English boarding school novel–so popular in the 1930s and 40s–was totally dead in the 1990s when an English mom named J. K. Rowling wrote a quirky boarding school novel called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
So don’t let the naysayers and Debbie Downers get in your way. Getting the book on the page has to be your main goal. Ignore everything else until you’re ready to polish.
Here are some posts we’ve offered in the last year or so that might help.