Writer Wednesday | Controversial Writing Advice, Part I

I’ve been working on this awesome writing conference bingo card. It’s not something I’m spending a ton of time focusing on, since I’m trying to do some cool stuff behind the scenes with the blog, working on the never-ending revisions (seriously, the novel’s been “done” for almost a year now), and trying to find some additional outlets to channel my creativity. Not to mention, you know, the non-writing parts of my life: family, work, researching MFA programs, exercise, and all that jazz. However, in the background, there is a really cool little bingo card with squares like “Attendee asks a question that is intensely personal” and “Speaker makes fun of James Patterson (or Dan Brown).” One of the first entries was “One of the ‘don’ts’ is in your manuscript.”

Yes, this happens.

Yes, it is okay. In some cases, it may force you to come to terms with reality and make some changes. That is not a bad thing. You’re strengthening your manuscript.

In other cases, you may decide the speaker is wrong.

I know, I know. Chances are, the person giving audience is more of a content expert than you are, and they have a good track record. You are probably an unpublished author with no track record. You may be a self-published author building your brand. For whatever reason, you feel you can’t afford to disregard this guidance.

Let’s not get into the whole “rules are made to be broken” and “if you do it well, you can get away with anything.” Instead, let’s think about the writing and the technique in question. Here’s what you have to ask: Does this work in my genre?

Tune in for Part II next week!

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