Tag Archives: advice

If you are a writer, and you have a novel idea that you are excited about writing, write it. Don’t go on message boards and ask random Internet denizens whether or not something is allowed. … Who is the writer here? YOU ARE. Whose book is it? YOUR BOOK. There are no writing police. No one is going to arrest you if you write a teen vampire novel post Twilight. No one is going to send you off to a desert island to live a wretched life of worm eating and regret because your book includes things that could be seen as cliché.

If you have a book that you want to write, just write the damn thing. Don’t worry about selling it; that comes later. Instead, worry about making your book good. Worry about the best way to order your scenes to create maximum tension, worry about if your character’s actions are actually in character; worry about your grammar. DON’T worry about which of your stylistic choices some potential future editor will use to reject you, and for the love of My Little Ponies don’t worry about trends. Trying to catching a trend is like trying to catch a falling knife—dangerous, foolhardy, and often ending in tears, usually yours.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay attention to what’s getting published; keeping an eye on what’s going on in your market is part of being a smart and savvy writer. But remember that every book you see hitting the shelves today was sold over a year ago, maybe two. Even if you do hit a trend, there’s no guarantee the world won’t be totally different by the time that book comes out. The only certainty you have is your own enthusiasm and love for your work. …

If your YA urban fantasy features fairies, vampires, and selkies and you decide halfway through that the vampires are over-complicating the plot, that is an appropriate time to ax the bloodsuckers. If you decide to cut them because you’re worried there are too many vampire books out right now, then you are betraying yourself, your dreams, and your art.

If you’re like pretty much every other author in the world, you became a writer because you had stories you wanted to tell. Those are your stories, and no one can tell them better than you can. So write your stories, and then edit your stories until you have something you can be proud of. Write the stories that excite you, stories you can’t wait to share with the world because they’re just so amazing. If you want to write Murder She Wrote in space with anime-style mecha driven by cats, go for it. Nothing is off limits unless you do it badly.

And if you must obsess over something, obsess over stuff like tension and pacing and creating believable characters. You know, the shit that matters. There are no writing police. This is your story, no one else’s. Tell it like you want to.

Rachel Aaron (via relatedworlds)

Yeah, so, this answers a lot of asks I get. It’s also why YW focuses on technique and style, and less on content and research.

(via clevergirlhelps)


Some links I have found in various Tumblr Posts that I have saved on my computer. I do not take credit for collecting all these links. Unfortunately, I did not have the mind to save/note where these various links come from. Thank you to whoever compiled these links together.

General Writing Tips, Guides and Advice

How to be Confident in Your Writing
Start Your Novel Already!
Why First Chapters Matter
How to Outline a Novel
Incorporating Flashbacks
Word Building 101
Common Mistakes in Writing
Tips on Getting Started
What Not to Do
7 Tips to Become a Better Writer from Stephen King
How to Use Reading to Become a Better Writer
Why Writers Must Read
How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers
31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing
10 Tips to Write Fanfiction
Writing a Blurb
10 Writing Tips
Perfecting Description
Point of View
Speed Up Your Writing
Recieving Bad News
Useful Writing Apps
Avoiding Clichés
Writing Lessons
Finding Inspiration

Plot and Conflict

What is Conflict?
Where’s Your Conflict?
Adding Conflict to Your Scenes
Guides for Using Inner Conflict That Makes Sense
Plotting Your Novel
Internal and External Conflict
The Top Ten Plotting Problems
The Elements of Plot Development
Plot Help
Writing a Plot Your Own Way
Plot Development
Develop a Plot
Tension and Conflict
Your Plot, Step by Step
Plot vs. Exposition
Plot and Conflict

Character Development

How to Describe the Body Shape of Female Characters

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Placement of Speech Tags

All About Names

List of Names

Genre Based

20 Tips to Writing Love Scenes


Word Count

I asked you before about what style of fighting my characters might realistically use and you mentioned Krav Maga. I’m planning on going to the library to check out some books on Krav Maga and similar fighting styles, but I’d also really like to actually learn KM (I’ve been wanting to get some self-defense training for a while now) and I was wondering if you have suggestions for finding a good program, and if you had any specific resources for studying it for my book.

I’m not as familiar with Krav Maga training practices as I’d like to be, so I wouldn’t be much help there. Krav Maga is the martial art practiced by the Israeli Defense Force, every IDF member learns it, and since it’s been brought to the United States has become one of the more popular self-defense martial arts for those who want a more actively aggressive style. The most important thing to remember about Krav Maga is that, like Muay Thai, it is a very aggressive combat style.

When it comes to finding a school, the internet and your local YMCA type Health Centers will be your best bet. You can try local schools/colleges flier boards, but it’s a little less likely. These days most martial arts schools have some type of website that give the location of the school and their phone number. Just type Krav Maga, Your City into Google. Once you have your list of places, give them a call to set up a time to meet them and take a list of questions you have with you. Since you’re already starting your research into the style, you’ll probably have a few. Asking the instructors questions and observing their teaching style is key to finding any martial arts school. The goal here isn’t just to learn a style, but to find a master you’ll be happy and content training under. If you feel comfortable enough ask the students about training there, how happy are they, are they chit-chatting with each other after class? Are the teachers supportive of the students needs? Do the students feel confident?

Ask questions regarding self-defense. Check out videos by self-defense experts like Michael Janich online to familiarize yourself with the concepts you’d like to learn. Remember, the best self-defense training is one that provides you with simple, easy to use techniques that are adaptable to multiple situations. They teach you how to extract yourself from situations and use what you know to provide you with the opportunity to get away. Combat training requires upkeep and continual practice. You have to feed the beast, so to speak. So, remember that you’re making a long term commitment (and if you don’t like it in a few weeks or three months, remember that you can leave, other schools are an option).

While everyone may look grim on the training floor, students should be relaxed and happy after class. This is important because a happy safe environment is an important part of learning.

When you’ve done that, check sites like Yelp and others for reviews on the school. Read them and compare their stories with what you saw on the floor.

Many schools offer a free first class, so if you’re thinking this school is right take the plunge.

The goal here is to find a martial art that fits with you, what is best for someone else may not be right for you, and the only way you’ll find out is by giving it a try. Martial arts training isn’t all serious, it should also be fun

The most important thing of all to remember is this: you will hear a lot about what is and isn’t the best, etc, etc. The only thing that matters is that it works for you. Are these techniques you could see yourself doing? Is Krav Maga’s outlook a mentality you want to adopt? Are you comfortable with learning what the style is asking of you?

When it comes to defending yourself a weapon you won’t use is one that is useless to you, it’s like the pepper spray at the bottom of your purse. If you won’t or can’t use it then it’s no good. Find a martial art and a school that builds your confidence, helps you feel secure and safe in the knowledge it gives you. If Krav Maga is right and the school you find is right, then awesome!

The History Channel ran a series called Human Weapon years ago. You can find some of the videos on YouTube, you used to be able to find the full episodes which were great for the interviews with different practitioners (though not wholly accurate, tv). Sadly, I don’t think that’s true anymore.

I hope this helps, let me know how it turns out.