Can Common Writing Advice Be Wrong? – by Jami Gold…

I’ve often said that there’s no “one right way” in writing. That truth is evident from many perspectives.

I’ve posted about how there’s no “one right way” to…:

  • draft a story. Whether we’re talking about the common advice to “write every day” or “wake early and write first thing,” our writing processes might work great for us…until they don’t. When our job or family situation changes, we might need to be flexible and try different processes. Plotters might even need to try writing by the seat of their pants—or vice versa. *grin*
  • edit a story. The common advice to never edit as we go might be exactly wrong for how our brain works. Personally, when I start a writing session, rereading what I wrote the previous session (and making appropriate changes) helps me get back into the story, voice, and characters.
  • apply writing craft rules. There’s endless advice about how to start (or not start) a story, whether to use adverbs, how much backstory to include, how to show and not tell, how much description vs. action to include, what makes characters compelling, etc. In truth, writing rules should usually be considered “guidelines.” *smile*

In other words, if there’s no “one right way” for most aspects of writing, any common advice that tries to lay out a right vs. wrong dichotomy is likely wrong itself. How should we approach writing advice if even the most frequently shared advice is often wrong?

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