The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Advice from Authors

A few days ago I found this wonderful blog post by an author called Steve Silberman trying to get advice on how to write a novel. He describes how his passion for writing started and what kind of book he is writing and that is fascinating and inspiring on its own but what was really great was the advice of 23 authors that he included after his blog post.
At the time I’m writing this I’m only half way through, but already I’ve seen some great advice! I’ll post some of my favorites here to give you a neat little selection and to help those who are too lazy to read the whole thing (it’s pretty long haha). However I do encourage you to read the entire blog post and I hope that it will be helpful to you!

Carl Zimmer
Be ready to amputate entire chapters. It will be painful.

David Shenk
Make it great, no matter how long it takes. There’s no such thing as too many drafts. There’s no such thing as too much time spent. As you well know, a great book can last forever. A great book can change a person’s life. A mediocre book is just commerce.”

“Let some of you come through. You’re obviously not writing a memoir here, but this book is still partly about you — the world you see, the way you think, the experiences you have with people. And trust me, readers are interested in who you are. So don’t be afraid to let bits and pieces of your personality and even life details seep into the text. It will breathe a lot of life into the book.”

 Ben Casnocha
“Develop a very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions. I use an app called Self-Control on my Mac.”
“Develop a very, very, very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions.”

 Cory Doctorow
“Write when the book sucks and it isn’t going anywhere. Just keep writing. It doesn’t suck. Your conscious is having a panic attack because it doesn’t believe your subconscious knows what it’s doing.”
Mark Frauenfelder
“Don’t forget to write the book that you want to read.” 

Josh Shenk

Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly.

And these are only a select view of the many advices given! Check them all out here:
I hope you enjoy reading it!
I’ll try to get a blog post up next week but I’m moving back to The Netherlands so I might not be able to make it.

What was your favourite tip? Or have your own tip you want to share? Leave a comment below! J Tell me what you thought!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii


  1. Awesome advice!
    I'll be sure to read the whole thing as soon as I start my writing again :) I don't have much time for it at the moment due to school work...

    I thought this one was the best, because that is the main reason I started writing in the first place:

    “Don’t forget to write the book that you want to read.”

    Keep the posts comming!

  2. I have a question, how do you come up with good character names?

  3. I actually have another question for you.
    I'm writing two books at the moment, both of which have a romance in it at some point.
    In one of them, it has to blossom quickly after the first date (as it is a fast paced book).
    The other one needs to have a romance developing over the entire novel.

    Do you have any tips for writing these two kinds of love interests and mixing them into your stories?