• It is important to consider whether your protagonist’s cat should be referred to as an “it” or a “he”
  • Always ask your trusted critic to read your manuscript earlier rather than later
  • My opinion, or anyone’s, is just that–one opinion. Take or leave only what feels right to you.
  • You may know that your character is obsessed with Garry Kasparov, but only put that detail in your story/novel if it has a purpose (which brings me to…
  • Know why every detail in your work is there. If you don’t, find out or take it out
  • Read your draft out loud. Yes, as if you are addressing the United Nations or just an audience of adoring fans
  • Read other writers as much as possible (but if you’re like me, only read poetry or nonfiction while working on your fiction to prevent cross-breeding)
  • Write. When I was beginning my first novel I met my goal of 10,000 words a month. Some days I’d write 3000, others 100, and still others none. (Which leads me to…
  • Trust the process that works for you, but discover one and stick with it.
  • If you don’t love it, don’t do it (kind of like, if you don’t surf, don’t start, only different)

Helpful and Even Inspirational Writing Books:

Writing Toward Home: Tales and Lessons to Find Your Way | By the kind and lovely Georgia Heard

Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life | By Natalie Goldberg

The Observation Deck: A Tool Kit for Writers | By Naomi Epel

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller | By John Truby