I can hear the collective gasp. Writers reading this are already disagreeing with me. Do I care?
Maybe a bit because I’m just a cucumber with anxiety and I desperately want everyone to like me please like me don’t click off my blog I swear I’m going to make some good points please please please read on.
I’ve been troubled recently by how many people I see giving absolute advice* to aspiring, struggling, or neurotic writers (these are not mutually exclusive, as you’ll know if you’ve ever met a writer).
*I’m not entirely sure if advice can be described as absolute. Although absolute is one of those adjective thingies, right? I’m not so good with… what you call ’em… you know, those things… WORDS! That’s it, words. Thank god I don’t need them for my livelihood!
It’s not only plain stupid to give absolute advice when there is no single right way to write. It’s also damaging and demotivating.
In this series I’ll go over some of the most common absolute advice I see and why it’s MORE WRONG THAN THIS:
Sex scenes used to terrify me. Not writing them, but letting people read them. I soon discovered this is common among writers, and most of us dread it for the same reason: we’re afraid readers will think we’re living vicariously through our sex scenes. That they will think that’s the type of sex we want to be having. And that’s a very intimate thing for people to know.
It’s also bollocks (in a manner of speaking). I’ve written sex scenes with six different characters. Well, I mean, not together. I don’t think I’m accomplished enough with pronouns to pull that off without diagrams, and I can’t draw.
Google throws up 259,000 results for ‘how to query a literary agent’. I read approximately 258,999 of them when I was preparing to query (the remaining one wouldn’t load, even though I refreshed for sixty-three hours straight).