This book consists of essays from successful authors including Brian Hodge and Shirley Jackson. Each essay contains the most useful piece of advice the author can give a new writer and they are indeed useful.
It was a quick and entertaining read with some solid gold advice, but for a speedy summary and my own future reference the main points are:
- Brian Hodge stresses the importance of consistency. He focuses on the grind of writing and encourages us to kill the ego and focus on the craft.
- Monique Snyman emphasises the importance of editing, and gives a guide in brief of the worst offending errors.
- Kevin Lucia shares his experience with rejection and the way good critique can help shape good writing.
- Michelle M Yardley shares the secret of stealing writing time in the margins of life. Ten minutes of writing is easier to set aside than an hour. This is something I’ve implemented immediately and have found very helpful. I’m currently writing this in bed on my phone.
- Jasper Bark talks about writers insecurity and remembering your personal reasons for writing without being intimidated by the concept of “being a writer”.
- Jack Ketchum shares the secret of pacing, something many new writers forget.
- Dave-Brendon de Burgh reminds us that our love of reading fuels our love of writing.
- Todd Kiesling suggests being honest and using our own fears in our fiction. “what scares you?”
- Tim Waggoner suggested we keep the emotional heart of our story in mind. Setting and plot should reflect these.