Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I would do any-thing for book, but I. Won't. Do. That.


I've learned some hard lessons since I started writing fiction 13 years ago. There's too many to list without a psychiatrist on call, so here's the truncated version. I'm calling it "The 10 Writerly Thingys I Will Never Do Again."

This list is for my personal writing life; it's not a judgement on others'. I've done these thingys already, to some degree, and I am therefore sick of doing them. But this doesn't mean I'll judge you for doing them. I've just been-there-done-that in my own writing. Okay? Still friends? Good. Now let's talk about me.

I will never again…

1) Write a story with a narrator/main character who is a writer, author, aspiring writer/author. Gross/tired/enough already.
2) Ask other novelists to write guest posts for my blog. Writers are busy people! They're raising kids and writing their own blogs and working full-time and -- oh yeah -- writing novels.
3) Write about cancer. Cancer stinks. I don’t want to give it more publicity. (I will also never again write about anorexia, cutting, etc. for several reasons, one of which is Hanya Yanagihara, the other which is kind of a funny story)
4) Post incessantly about my second book. I think I’ve pretty much covered it all here. Maybe there will be some sophomore learnings, but buy me a drink and we'll chat about it. Even though I love this blog and it's partly responsible for my book being published, I sometimes think it's way cooler to be a mystery.
5) Get an agent who isn’t connected to TV writing in some way. I’ve got goals, baby.
6) Attend a writing workshop as an act of procrastination. I will, however, wrestle you to the ground if you try to stop me from making Kardashian-related videos.
7) Write a book in first-person present. Although I adore this POV, it was almost the death of me
8) Overuse the word “that.” My editor Rosemary Nixon has tried to cure me of this disease, for which I am grateful.
9) Employ the word "whilst." Confession: I've actually never used "whilst," but I'm reading a novel -- contemporary, child narrator, set in a forest -- and the writer uses "whilst" exclusively instead of "while" and it's pissing me off so much that I needed to tell someone.
10) Whine about how hard it is to be a writer when I am stupidly lucky to have found my passion and to have the resources (time, education, personal security) to be able to go for it.

*PS: I may break these rules -- especially #10 -- so let's never speak of them again.

7 comments:

  1. "Whilst" is allowed to be used only when the reader has forgotten that the author had previously used the word "whilst".

    BTW Meatloaf looks like he thinks he's in Dragonball.

    http://dragonball.wikia.com/wiki/Zenkai?file=GohanPoweringUpNamek.png

    But that's cool, Meatloaf. Do you.

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    1. HA! He does look like he's in Dragonball!

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  2. Whilst? Used by a child? In a forest? Ridiculous, I say (whilst I applaud you for such a great list).

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    2. And the rest of the book is excellent, Erin, so I am flabbergasted! (Also haha! re: your "whilst")

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  3. I think we're best friends because I agree with all ten of these -- especially using "whilst"! No one under the age of 80 should be allowed to use that word. It doesn't make what you're saying sound smarter or more whimsical; it just simply ruins the whole sentence and takes several pages to forgive.

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    1. "and takes several pages forgive." Exactly, Alana. I almost quit the book because of the "whilst", which would have sucked because the book was wonderful. I am so curious as to why the author (and editor) made that choice...

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