Oct 19, 2011

Rick Walton's Suggestions to Writers

Rick had three suggestions for writers everywhere.  I had heard similar things elsewhere, but wanted to have it on record here.

1.  Always work on the craft first.
     - In the workshop, Rick said that the main reason people self-publish is because they aren't getting published; however, a big part of that was because they weren't good enough to get published.  He said by skipping ahead in the process, writer's are cheating themselves out of the rest of the learning experience.  When the writing is good enough, a writer will get published.

2.  Write for reasons besides publishing.
    - If writer's will do this, they will have the motivation to keep going.  Writing should be a passion, a love, a part of the writer's life.  If it isn't, the writing isn't worth it.

3.  Write what you love.
    3a. Remember a story can change.  He shared his experience with writing a book about a woman with lots of children, only to have his publisher call and say they had an illustrator, could he change the story to be about bunnies instead.  He said yes.  It was still the same story, just different.
     - Another example, if an author wants to write about Nazi Germany, it may be met with the request to write something in that setting but with Steam Punk instead.

 The last one made me think of Fantasia 2000.  When they were deciding which pieces to use, rumor is the director went to a well-known conductor and asked him what he thought about condensing Beethoven's 5th to two and a half minutes.  The conductor sat there for a few minutes, thinking through the movement, and said if it was the right two and a half minutes, it could work.

I think that's the point with our stories too.  The shrinking process is necessary to find the absolute best stuff.


Angela Cothran said...

These are all great tips. I especially like number one. Craft is so important. People who think that writing is easy and that anyone can do it are crazy :)

Jeigh said...

So, I just realized today, like a dork, that I was following your personal blog. Thanks for the push to this blog :) I really like number 3, and I've used it a lot lately.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Yes, yes, yes, I'm doing all three of these. :D

Awesome advice (and not just because I'm doing them all).

Abby said...

Love these tips! So important. I'm so glad I found your blog!