Mark Terry

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My Best Writing Advice

February 4, 2009
She-Who-Must-Be-Read is asking for your best, most trenchant writing advice today. In the interest of not having to work at actually coming up with something to write about this morning, I offered mine, which I will offer here.

Write less, think more.

(Which actually reminds me of a story I read by Stephen King, about going to a horror or sci-fi convention and meeting one of his heroes, I think it was Frank Belknapp Long, who at the time was in his late 80s or 90s. Long offered him advice. King leaned down to hear it, knowing it would be great. Long said, "Get a music stand and put your manuscript on it so you don't have to bend down to read it while you're writing. All those years craning your neck take their toll.")

Well, good advice, wasn't it?

Mark Terry


Blogger Erica Orloff said...

OMG, the Stephen King story is priceless.

And actually, your words are important to me today because I have THREE unfinished works that ALL need to be fixed before I submit them anywhere and in all three cases just sitting down and writing would be futile. It may not LOOK like work, but I am seriously doing a LOT of thinking. 'til my brain hurts.

7:22 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

I'm thinking a lot too, Mark. Must be in the water.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

Sometimes the simplest advice is always the best.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Wow! You mean I'm useful? Good to know. (Just had lunch at the local Chili's only to find that it's closing on Monday--the 2nd or 3rd restaurant in town to do so since the beginning of the year. The economy's starting to shut down where I live and it's a little bit scary).

10:27 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Hah! That is hilarious!

(All but two restaurants in our area have been closed for two years. They all went when my studio suddenly diminished, LOL. Tony Roma's, even!!! I think our area got hit earlier than the rest of the country, but I think we're pulling out of it a bit early, too. I hope.)

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Zoe Winters said...

This has proven true for me. Even during the crap draft, if I sit and think out the scene a little first before typing the words, it comes out a lot cleaner and better.

1:56 PM  
Blogger B. Nagel said...

Great advice. Somewhere in there, though, you strike a point where thinking about it actually keeps you from writing anything. So you have to throw what you have on the page and worry about revision later. Just like the rest of life, it's a balancing act. Also, when I spend to much time thinking about a story, I tend to chase rabbit trails and end up playing mini games on the internet (The answer to all the ills of our increasingly ADHD society).

6:24 PM  

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