Writing Advice

There’s so much writing advice out there. Something I hear a lot is ‘write what you know’

Well, imagine if we all did that. There’d be a glut of books about frustrating office jobs, the trip to the local supermarket and relationships that are not quite right but we can’t figure out why.

I think it’s better to write what we don’t know. I think it’s better to get ourselves into the head of someone completely new. If they’re historical, we can research. If they are different to us, we can interview someone. If they are fantasy, we can let our imagination run wild. Write what we don’t know. Be someone else.

Also, that advice about not writing long descriptions? I love long descriptions. I love that part in Bleak House where Dickens writes about the fog for pages. Describe away. I’ll enjoy it.

Writing advice can be useful, especially when it’s ‘back up EVERYTHING’. But it’s not absolute gospel. If you read that you ought to plan every page and you’re a bad writer if you don’t, someone else will tell you to not to plan a single word. Following your instincts works well too.

And please put the long rich descriptions back in. I cannot emphasise enough how much I love them.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad


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