Always listen to the experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then do it. – Robert Heinlein
I guess the main problem I have with advice regarding any artistic pursuit is that both the creation of it, and the viewing of it, are so damned subjective. There’s a million ways and techniques to writing a novel – every novelist has a different process. There are commonalities, and the biggest one is that an author writes enough to fill a book and then gets paid for the effort.
The really major problem with writing advice is, it’s not really needed. I’ve discussed this so many times before, in so many venues, I’m not going to do it again here. You can exhale now. But it ain’t needed other than to give Stephen King’s advice – write a lot and read a lot. That’s all you need to know.
What the real problem is isn’t all the shitty advice out there floating around, it’s the fact that it’s almost impossible to make a living at writing, even with multiple book deals. Believe me, I know. I have multiple book deals. So, if you’re, say, a midlist writer with some book income but ends aren’t even in the same area code, not to mention hooking up through a Craig’s List ad and finally bumping uglies, what do you do to supplement your income? That’s right, writing workshops. Self-published ebooks. Where advice is doled out. (more…)