Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Are you guilty?

The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing
July 11, 2011
by  Zachary Petit
From Writers Digest
In a thought-provoking panel, four popular authors shared what they believe to be the deadly sins of the writing craft. Have you committed any of them?
In a thought-provoking ThrillerFest panel, four popular authors shared what they believe to be the deadly sins of the writing craft. Here are seven of their offerings. Have you committed any of them?

David Hewson, author of the Nic Costa series: Laziness  
Intellectual laziness is something all writers are prone to: as in writing the same type of book, and doing it annually. “I think you really have to fight against laziness and constantly keep challenging yourself.” Like great art, books aren’t ever finished—they’re abandoned. (In other words, don’t just finish writing your first draft and call it a day.)

Lisa Gardner, author of The Killing HourTrying to be a good student
Gardner said it’s a thrill to rope a lot of cool forensic facts in the research process. But the danger is in going home and regurgitating all of them in your novel—“When really thrillers are all about  entertaining. …” Keep that story moving forward.

John Sandford, author of Buried PreyMarching down the outline
This occurs when you sit down to write and follow your outline exactly. Sandford said some people use an outline like a frame, and merely embroider within it. Outlining is fine, but sticking too closely to it can stifle your story. “If you do outline, you have to be aware of the problems that that kind of thing can cause.”

M.J. Rose, author of The Hypnotist: Denying jealousy 
“I try to not allow myself to be jealous of other writers and the books they’ve written,” Rose said—but in fact, she believes it’s a good thing to let some of that jealousy seep through. So don’t bottle it up. “I think it’s really healthy to let yourself have the full range of emotions.”

Sandford: Focusing too heavily on the business
One of Sandford’s friends obsesses over the business end of writing—his friend writes a book, and then gets lost in all of the trappings of business and promotion ... “to the exclusion of actually writing novels.”

Rose: Not reading books 
Reading is essential for writers. Rose cited a study that said that 23 percent of people in the United States want to be writers. If all of them read 10 books a year, Rose said, “We’d all be doing a lot better.”

Hewson: Imitation
There is a difference between imitating a book, and being influenced by a book. Hewson added that it’s valuable to figure out why you think certain things work in the books you read, and why others don’t. 


Pam Williams said...

Writing--one more human activity that can leave you feeling guilty. Oh great. Just what I needed. I finally realized it's just like everything else in life--you're your own worst critic and you're the one who puts the most pressure on you. Really feeling that lately.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I freely admit to the jealousy thing.

Although I'm nowher as bad as some writers. When Harry Potter became popular there were so many writers trashing it.

But I'm getting different advice. I just listened to someone say "Get a platform and readers first and then write the book."

Who to listen to?