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Thread: "Deceptively Simple" Writing Advice

  1. #1
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
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    "Deceptively Simple" Writing Advice

    Here's a useful article I recently saw on the web. We've alll heard our share of writing advice, with which we usually agree but so not always follow. Here's some succinct yet sage advice from a highly popular and successful author.

    With which bits of advice do you agree or disagree? Which is the most difficult advice to follow?

  2. #2
    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    I think it's all good avice. For me the easiest is "Keep it simple" since I am simple-minded anyway.
    The hardest I think is "Sound like yourself," I think because I haven't yet discovered my own "voice."
    I bet if I chose three stories of mine at random and told you they were by different authors, it would be easy to believe.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

  3. #3
    Registered User Gu Long's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
    In a Bamboo Forest
    Interesting advice. The best advices are the most simple ones. Thanks for posting it.

  4. #4
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I liked the last piece of advice the best: "Pity the readers."

  5. #5
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    This was great advice and I wonder why it is that simple things are sometimes hard to grasp.

  6. #6
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    And yet Steve at the end of the day thats what invariably we come back to.

  7. #7
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    Interesting character, that Kurt Vonnegut. He's got some good suggestions in case you don't know what to write about but you're feeling creative. "Pity the readers." sounds on track. I would interpret that as "Don't insult your readers and don't make them do mental acrobatics." Reading a book is like getting in a car, the smoother the ride the easier one can enjoy the scenery. My head is littered with similes today, don't know why. If I got sage advice on writing with style I would tell you put a feather on your pen.

  8. #8
    flash fiction fatale heartwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 fountains View Post
    I think it's all good avice. The hardest I think is "Sound like yourself," I think because I haven't yet discovered my own "voice."
    I bet if I chose three stories of mine at random and told you they were by different authors, it would be easy to believe.
    Writing is hard enough. It's probably best not to overthink this one. I'm not sure we're always the best at deciding our own sound. That's why there are skilled editors.

    Also, I think sound is something that changes, maybe ever so slightly sometimes, over time. It does seem limiting to stick only to one's own sound but maybe I am not quite understanding fully what Vonnegut meant by this, or maybe I do but just disagree.

    I think for many writers they develop a mindset that is most helpful for them, that helps them generate most creatively. For me, on this issue of sound, it is being open to different sounds, voices, ideas. When the horizon narrows too much via internal or external forces, I know I am in for a fallow period which is not all bad but which can sometimes be uncomfortable.
    Last edited by heartwing; 07-18-2016 at 08:37 PM.
    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser
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