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Posts Tagged ‘pithy advice’

Mary Robinette Kowal, that font of wisdom and Regency fashion tips, has a nice column on bad writing advice.

There’s a bunch of aphorisms about writing that started as good, pithy advice in part of someone’s lecture. Then they got pulled out of context and then misapplied.

Mary breaks down the standards that every beginning writer hears and talks about what they really mean, and when they are useful (spoiler: not always!). Write what you know, show don’t tell, raise the stakes, and kill your darlings, all so often repeated as gospel.

If you’ve ever tried to merge the advice to “write what you know” with the burning desire to write about Martian ballerinas and the prospectors who love them, well, fellow speculators, this is for you.

/totally going off to write a story about Martian ballet… right after I finish my novel!

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