by Gabbi Hall
The Penmen Review asked writers what the best advice they have been given was. Here is what three writers had to say:
Raegan Payne is an award winning, published and regularly produced playwright. She is also a nationally recognized blogger.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Write one page a day—on anything. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the project your working on—just a page on something.
Care about the character. I think that contrary to Aristotle’s opinion in Poetics, plot is not the master of a story. It’s the character that’s king. If you have a fully fleshed character, the audience will follow them anywhere.
Karen Jones is the author of Death for Beginners: Your No-Nonsense, Money Saving Guide to Planning for the Inevitable.
Have a heart-to-heart with your inner critic. You know, the voice in your head that says “you can’t do this, you are too old (young) you don’t know enough anyway…” This is your inner critic composed of everyone who has ever told you that you are not good enough. Personify this inner critic (mine looks like the Wicked Witch of the West) and sit it down and have a chat. Tell it that it is not needed and very lovingly tell it to go sit in the corner. Tell it that you will call it back to help you edit your first draft if it promises to behave but until then, while you are creating, it must be silent. You will have to keep telling your inner critic to go back to the corner and sit while you write because it will be like a puppy. But eventually you can tame the voice that says you are not good enough.
Vanessa Runs is the author of The Summit Seeker and an ultra runner.
1. Read obsessively. When I read great books, I produce great writing. Simple as that. Read authors you admire.
2. Find your own voice and don’t be afraid to experiment. It takes time—sometimes years—to find your voice. The only way you will do so is to experiment. Try everything. Explore different styles, and see what fits.