My Unpopular Writing Advice

28 03 2023

The closer the word “I” is to the beginning, the worse the story or essay will be.

There is such thing as a bad idea, an idea which no amount of craft can save.

Genre fiction must center the genre to the conflict. Just because a story contains a werewolf, it is not a horror story or fairy tale.

A lived life is worth more than an MFA, or Clarion, or Odyssey. Spend the tuition money on experiences.

If the value of art lies with its audience, then the artist must be separate from their art.

Have we all gotten over “write what you know”?

The experimentation of MFA writers drove the popular audience from fiction to genre, then chased the audience from genre to Young Adult. Self-publication and small press reclaimed genre.

I am so glad that we are ignoring “If it doesn’t help the plot, it must go.”

What you write, writes you. Is what you’re writing making you a better person? Happier?

Always find some good in whatever you read. This keeps your perceptions and compassion alive. Always find where your favorite media could be better. This will keep you from worshipping idols.

If you write a character you identify with, grind them. Their emotions will surprise you, make the story resonant, and help you grow personally.

If you cannot weep about your life in front of your writers’ group, get a new writers’ group.

My writers group is a mix on genres, and I recommend yours be too. It keeps focus on the essentials of plot and character.

Bonus Comedy Opinion: It is possible to do improvisation with only questions and the word “no”.



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