That title almost makes it look like I set out to do this on purpose.
A lot more telling will be if I can manage to make this a weekly thing. On Wednesdays, even. To do that, I’m going to have to rely on you, Internet, to help me out. If you haven’t figure it out, we’re all doomed when we start relying on the internet for things, like news, and human interaction, or recipes for tikka masala. Mmmm. Masala.
This week, I bring to you the advice of two great fonts of writing savviness, Jamie Rubin and Chuck Wendig.
Jamie you’ve heard me mention before, so I’ll leave the waxing nostalgic to the archives, but Jamie has some interesting things to say today on the writing advice that no one ever gives you: DO NOT ERASE. That isn’t to say don’t fix typos, or redraft, or don’t rewrite – by all means, you’ve got to do that kind of work to change the brain goo that comes out into enjoyable stories. But don’t erase a scene, or paragraph, or even sentence if you can avoid it, just because it doesn’t work now. Keep it filed away, because later, even if you don’t discover that it was the better version (and how many times have I been there? Let’s not count.), but it’s also a great resource for seeing how you’ve progressed over time. Maybe not within the confines of a single story, but certainly over the course of many. If you’re a scrivener user, a trick I’ve been doing lately that is pretty handy is just hitting that snapshot button whenever I begin to make changes. Snapshots are a great way to preserve a single scene without resorting to backups of the whole project. Catch Jamie’s advice over here on his blog.
Today, Chuck Wendig also gives the Hardest Writerly Truth of Them All. Personally, I think he’s a jerk for putting this out there – it totally A) destroys the hopes of finding the secret sauce, B) confirms what we’ve long suspected, and C) puts the “blame” square back on us, the aspiring writers, for actually producing something. But, one can’t argue with Chuck’s success, not to mention near fanatical following (seriously, he’s like the mini-Rothfuss when it comes to charmingly engendering support and followers) .
And there you have it. Now go forth and have the weird kind of day I’ve had, where I woke up with the fate of a Universe spinning inside my noggin and just a bunch of tentacle faced aliens to keep me company.
- How I Improved My Writing With Three Simple Words: DO NOT ERASE! (jamierubin.net)
- Yes, Lana, You Can Be A Paid Writer, Too (w0manp0et.wordpress.com)
- Chicken Tikka Masala, Because I Miss All the Restaurants In San Francisco (growitcookitcanit.com)
- Using Snapshots When Writing With Scrivener (everythingscrivener.wordpress.com)