Writers on Writing
With the beginning of NaNoWriMo looming on the horizon, it seemed like a good time to recall the wisdom of writers who’ve been there:
ALBERTO ÁLVARO RÍOS
The worst thing a writer can do is to think. The best thing to do is to react, which includes thinking but doesn't let it act as an impediment or a censor. When you read something, you think something—write that down. That's what I'm always trying to do, –
If you start to edit as you write, you are climbing into your “editor” self, the self that reads. You’ve done plenty of reading, you don’t need practice right now.
When you say something, make sure you have said it. The chances of your having said it are only fair.
Any fiction should be a story. In any story there are three elements: persons, a situation, and the fact that in the end something has changed. If nothing has changed, it isn’t a story.
If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn’t expecting it.
Don’t write stage directions. If it is not apparent what the character is trying to accomplish by saying the line, telling us how the character said it, or whether or not she moved to the couch isn’t going to aid the case. We might understand better what the character means but we aren’t particularly going to care.
Breslin’s Rule: Don’t trust a brilliant idea unless it survives the hangover.
Do not pay any attention to the rules other people make.... They make them for their own protection, and to Hell with them.