Writing Advice

The doctor is in.

Photo by flickr user Kara

There are plenty of blogs and articles out there offering advice to writers. I’ve thrown in my own two cents a few times on this blog. This week I thought I’d do a round-up of advice/websites that I’ve found useful.

For getting started/general motivation:

The best advice I’ve had for this actually came from a session at the Public Library Association Conference in Indianapolis earlier this year. In a talk about innovation in libraries, author Megan McArdle told the audience to “Give yourself permission to suck.” I like to apply this to all of my zero drafts and even some of my early revisions. A terrible draft is still better than a non-existent one.

For revisions:

Agent Christa Heschke shares revision advice from her clients on her blog. Whether it’s printing your manuscript, reading it out loud, or even changing the font, these tips will help you look at your work more critically to make it even stronger. One of my critique partners contributed to this series, and I definitely take her advice to heart when I’m going through her feedback.

For querying:

Query Shark.If you’re struggling to write a query letter, I highly recommend you check out Query Shark. Agent Janet Reid posts query letters (with the writers’ permission) and offers her feedback. It’s fun to watch some of these queries go from complete messes to polished products that lead to offers for representation. Reading the “sharkives” has helped me with both my queries and my novels.

For researching agents:

I always like to start directly with an agent’s website, but sometimes just deciding which agents to research can be tough! I’ve found Literary Rambles and the Query, Sign, Submit series on I Write for Apples helpful for that.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve gotten? What resources do you recommend?

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