Friday, July 21, 2006

The Best Advice

When I was a newbie writer (had yet to complete my first book, but I was writing furiously toward that goal), Hotrod (as my DH shall now be known due to his love and collection of American muscle cars) and I had to attend a "dining out". For you civilian folks, that's a military term for a fancy dress diner where punch is served from toilet bowls. I'm not lying, that's how the Airforce does it. Sela can back me up on this. Look it up if you want to know more.

Anyway, the special guest speaker that night was Orson Scott Card. I was all atwitter like a diabetic in a candy store. Hotrod had spent the better part of the day with him as part of his DV contingent and proclaimed him "a really cool guy." I'm like, "Duh. That's Orson Scott Card!"

Hotrod swept me up to meet him. "This is my wife. She's a writer, too."

Ahem. I had not yet finished a book at this point. This man wrote Ender's Game. ENDER'S GAME. But I digress.

OSC: "Great, nice to meet you." Shakes my hand. "So you're a writer?"
Me: "Uh-huh." I could barely see beyond the stars in my eyes. "But I've only just started."
OSC: Smiles like a father looking at a child. "Writers write. What have you written?"

WHAT HAVE YOU WRITTEN?

Now there's a question for the ages. I proceeded to blather on about Heart of Fire, my fantasy romance work-in-progress. OSC was very nice (translation: he listened without his eyes glazing over) and very encouraging.

I wished so very much that I could have answered his question by telling him I'd completed my book. His "What have you written" question compelled me to sit down and write every day. I never wanted to be asked that again without being able to answer it more successfully. It became a sort of mantra for me.

That was my best "advice", the nugget of writerly wisdom that kept me plugging away on the days when crap was the highest form of prose I could manage.

How about you? What was your best writerly advice?

5 comments:

  1. That's a good one.

    One that certainly resonates with me is "write what you love." :)

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  2. Best advice I've heard is to try and write through The Block. Even when your muse is AWOL, write something.

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  3. I would have fallen flat on the floor at that point.

    Great story.

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  4. Get into the habit of writing.
    Write wanderings, brilliant dreams or stumped babble that resembles trash, but write, every day.
    Excercise that mental muscle. Every Day.

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  5. True. About the toilet bowl. I don't know where they get these ideas.

    Best writing advice? Was from Joanna Maitland, a historical author with Mills&Boon.

    Finish the book.

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