Writers Advice

06 Dec

Advice Dog on Writing #1
Welcome to a new column here at Prefect Writing: Writing Advice, for Writers Who Write, by Other Writers… who, ah, Also, er, Write… um… Maybe I should simplify that a bit eh? Let’s call it Writers Advice.

I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned it or not, but I’m a Gemini. Growing up, my mother was really into the whole New Age scene and my house was full of associated books, and crystals, and tarot cards and other esoteric paraphernalia. I grew up on the outside of this culture, never quite buying in to the same level as my mother, but enough to be influenced by it in a significant way and when I discovered the fantasy genre everything kind of fell into place in a way that made sense in my head.

I grew up living and breathing that ‘stuff’, and wear the term ‘Gemini’ like a comfortable old coat. Now-a-days, of course, I laugh at star-signs while in polite company, and don’t think about it very often, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake it completely – I’m a Gemini and that MEANS something to me.

What? Well, a lot of things really, but probably the most significant, and the only impact that I typically reference being a Gemini for, is this:



Internally, I always feel at war with myself. In all things I feel a struggle with my internal voices (yes, ‘voices’). It’s as if both Castor and Pollux reside in the back of my brain somewhere and the twins struggle constantly, over everything. I choose to believe this is a Gemini trait, and not just my internal makings (hey, it makes it easier sometimes to believe we’re just like everyone else, right?), but it’s this warp and weft that have defined most of my life, my decisions and my actions, both a blessing and a bit of a curse.

The point I’m slowly meandering towards here is that, while I tend towards the artistic and am one of those people who really do NEED to write, I’m also highly analytical and need rules, and organization, and structure to be artistic within. Or more correctly, the internal artistic me and analytical me are constantly in a state of war and the power of each waxes and wanes.

Annnnnd the point (I know! Finally right?): I read a lot of books, and blogs, and articles, and listen to a lot of people’s opinions on writing, and on how to write.

Or, very possibly, maybe that’s all bullshit and I’m just really needy. At the end of the day, we all like to make up stories to explain our bad habits right?

This brings me full circle, back to my first sentence, and will provide the all important closure we needy people crave; the new category! Writing Advice.

When reading deeply on the topic of writing, most of the advice, after a time, starts to resemble all the other advice, but occasionally a kernel of truth that I don’t want to lose pops through.  Statements that represent core truths. One of those concepts that is so powerful that you want to rip it out and paste it to your wall to remind you every day that, ‘Yes, this is the way to carry on doing THAT thing.’

And so, with this category, and the completion of this long-winded expository post, I would like to share those ‘Kernels of Writing Truth’ that light my way as I wade through the murky darkness of writing purgatory.

A few times a week I will post a new Tip, Trick or Rockin’ Piece of Writerly Advise to this category. They will not be offered in any sort of order, and I likely won’t bother with the painfully common ones like ‘Read, Read, Read. Write, Write, Write.”

Some of them, I expect, will help improve your writing. Some of them will help to bolster your will to go on. Some of them will, hopefully, be humorous. And as we walk along this path together, I really hope you all will share some of your best advice in the comments section.

(on rereading this post before publishing it, I realized I gave away my Canadian’ness – 10 points if you noticed!)


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