If you're anything like me, you've read a lot, talked a lot about writing and have gotten your share of advice. If you had to name one or two bits of wisdom that has helped you most, what would they be?
For me, the first would be: Write like you think.
Yeah, it sounds generic, but I've always struggled with creating compelling characters and getting into their heads. Once I stopped thinking, 'How can I make this character appealing?' and started thinking, 'How can I make this character feel real
?' I started finding characterization a lot easier. I become the character to some degree and write like I think--I'm sarcastic, I have a wry sense of humor. I'm weird. My characters often are too, and this is why.
I know too when I started writing I was so worried about the rules and the message and trying to make sure my work was like the work out there so it would appeal to editors and get published. I felt like I was juggling 800 billion different things and the writing had to follow every writing rule and be perfect and symetrical in every way.
Bah to that.
To be original you have to let go. Pure creativity comes when you cast off things that hold you back or hem you in. So my second bit of wisdom is to just write the damn story and forget about everything else
Clarity and originality comes when you can cast off the rules and worries. This is when the strongest voices emerge. However, to do this and be effective, you have to know the rules of writing first, and you have to understand the elements of story building and their importance.
What advice has helped you the most?