mercoledì 10 gennaio 2018

How to Spot Bad Writing Advice: 6 Red Flags to Look For


First of all, I’m not by any means the authority on what makes good or bad writing advice! Writing is an art. There are no rules in art, which means that writing advice, by extension, is highly subjective.

In my opinion, if it works for you, if it helps you improve and be happier with your writing, that’s good writing advice. If it hinders you, takes you down the wrong path, fucks with your creative process, causes more confusion than clarity, that’s bad advice. So when you’re sorting the good from the bad, go with your gut, and don’t let anyone bully you into their way of thinking, regardless of how credible, famous, or experienced they are. However…

If you’re a new writer, it can take a while to tell the difference between helpful (”good”) writing advice and unhelpful (”bad”) writing advice.

Remember that literally anyone can pose as an expert and offer writing advice. As a published fiction writer, professional editor, and writing teacher, I see a lot of writing advice floating around on Tumblr that I just don’t agree with. Figuring out how to sift through everything takes time, but here are some red flags to keep an eye out for:

Red Flag #1: Hard-and-Fast Rules

Bad writing advice gives hard-and-fast rules, and doesn’t allow for exceptions. It liberally uses words like always and never. (Example: “Never open a book with the weather,” “Always punctuate your dialogue like this,” “You can’t write a novel that’s longer than 100,000 words,” etc.)

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