Introducing Quick Tip Tuesdays!

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Happy New Year, Magical Words! Great to see you all again.

I’m pleased to say that I am back at MW as a regular. I’ll be here most weeks with a new feature I’m calling “Quick-Tip Tuesdays.” Each week I’ll put up a quick writing tip on some subject relating to the craft of writing. I’ll be covering character, point of view, setting, world building, prose, pacing, and a host of other topics — nothing is off the table. And, as always, I’ll look forward to your comments and questions; we’ll begin each week with a quick tip, but as with all MW posts, the subsequent discussion will expand and elucidate. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I expect I’ll enjoy writing them.

For today’s quick tip, I’m going to offer a bit of writing advice on . . . writing advice.

Writing, like any artistic endeavor, is highly personal. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. All of us — Faith, Misty, John, and I, along with every other writer you’ve encountered here at MW over the years — have our own creative processes. None of us approaches a novel or story the same way. In fact, I find that I don’t even approach any two projects exactly the same way. So, the tips you hear or read from other writers, of all levels of expertise — myself included — are based upon personal experiences. In order to speak with any authority, I can really only tell you what has worked for me. Same with anyone else giving you advice. You need to take all the advice you hear with the proverbial grain of salt.

I’m not saying that the idiosyncrasies of creativity render the suggestions of others useless or irrelevant. Far from it. The sort of advice we give here at MW can be incredibly valuable. And over the coming weeks, I plan to tell you what has worked for me in my writing, with the hope that you’ll find some of what I do helpful for your own work.

But it’s also possible that some or most of what I do with my own stories won’t work as well for you. And that’s all right. It’s not a reflection on your approach any more than it is a reflection on mine. All it means is that our approaches differ. Some people write quickly, some don’t. Some outline, some don’t. Some compose at the keyboard, some compose with pen and paper. Some do their research up front . . . Well, you get the idea.

To repeat something I have said many times before, there is no single right way to do any of this. You have to discover your own creative path. My purpose in writing these Quick Tips each Tuesday will be to help you find that path. But everything that I offer here will be meant simply as a suggestion — none of it is meant to be prescriptive.

More next week. And again, Happy New Year. I hope 2016 is a magical and productive year for all of us.

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