More on writing

Giffy sent me the link to Sherwood Smith’s post on cover letters for manuscript submissions, which helpfully links in its turn to a heap more other author’s thoughts on this topic, there’s bound to be something useful in there….query letters.

Some more bits from Stephen King’s book that have resonated with me, I really am getting a lot out of this book. Can anyone recommend any other style guides to me? I am aware that there are like a zillion available so I need it narrowed down a bit….

Talking about that old ‘write what you know’ adage…
Write what you like, then imbue it wuth life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex and work.”
This part was underlined by a previous reader of the library book, and I think it bears repeating….
Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.
What he’s saying there, in case it isn’t obvious, is that you shouldn’t spend too long describing stuff, you should just give the reader enough to make their own mental image and then move on to the story.

I’m also pleased because Stephen mentions that he writes about two thousand words a day and that seems manageable to me somehow. You know, if I had the time to write every day….

PoF: skimpy for optimum sun soaking
CO: writer writing to write


4 thoughts on “More on writing

  1. 2k words a day makes sense, yeah. Someone I know who strings together a pretty decent sentence gets in around 40k a month on average, with a more-than full time job and two early-teens kids.
    Lol at the over-description thing. That instantly reminded me of Laurel K Hamilton, who would spend oh-so-many of her opening paragraphs describing the clothes and hair of the characters in the scene. And, you know, do it again later in the book if they’d changed their outfits.
    I *NEVER* needed to know the colour of the Nike logo on Anita’s shoes.

  2. Rachel: Yes, the over description is an easy trap to fall into. I know Mercedes Lackey does it too in her urban fantasy novels (so much about the human mage and his totally cool mullet)….I suspect it’s not too much of an issue in my kid’s book though.

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