Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Biggest Pieces of Writing Advice to Take Home

Last year Brandon Sanderson held a Q&A session to wrap up his writing class. Someone asked him the biggest pieces of advice we should take home. He said the following:

1. Great writing takes PRACTICE.
     --If I remember correctly, Sanderson was working on his 13th book when he finally sold to Tor--and Elantris was the 6th book he'd written.

2. Good stories are about CONFLICT.
3. Good writers are also good revisers. You don't have to do it all at once.

That last part is something I really had to internalize. The Day the Sky Fell is the first story I've written where I didn't try to get all the revisions done in one go (which is also why the revising process took so much longer!). And because of that, I feel a lot more confident with this novel than with previous ones. Hopefully that's a good sign!

I'm at the point where I have to start weaning my brain from Chicken Little goodness and shift it into the next, untitled story (which I may have to refer to as "Scion" for now on, but I know if I do that, "Scion" will magically become the actual title). I've got some outlining to flush out and more antagonist angst to delve into. Wish me luck. :O


  1. Practice, practice and more practice. Sometimes I forget that not every overnight success truly happened overnight.

  2. Yes, I know all this, but for some reason I can't seem to retain that knowledge in my brain. Grr...

  3. I love it when author's counsel you to put in your million words of crap before you put something good out. If fan fiction counts, I should be good.

  4. "authors". Sorry. I'm coming down with something. And I have kids. Either excuse works.

  5. New follower here! Picked up your post from Ink Pageant! :)

    Great advice, I love point number two. Good stories ARE about conflict! Conflict is what makes a good story good (I know I'm being redundant, but it's true). I love when multiple storylines merge together as one cohesive whole at the end of the story. A good writer will know how to do that with conflict.

    Great advice!