Brinda Berry · tools · writing advice

The Best Writing Advice

When it comes to writing advice,  I listen to other writers who have proven themselves. Sometimes those writers are from my writing organizations like DSRA. Other times, they are famous writers.  I’d love to hear these two gentlemen in person. Until then, it’s nice to have resources like YouTube. Each video is a little over a minute long and well worth your time.

James Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer turned writer and speaker. He is a finalist for a 2012 International Thriller Writers Award for One More Lie.  I took an online writing class that used his book called Revision & Self-Editing. It’s one I frequently refer back to when I need some direction and inspiration while editing.  I like what Bell has to say about daily word counts. I don’t add words to my manuscript every day and have felt guilty in the past. Watch the video to hear what he has to say about becoming a prolific writer.

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors.  He’s written a craft book called On Writing that I highly recommend. He was asked this great question from someone in the audience. “What advice would you give young people who are considering a career in writing?”

Have you heard some great writing advice that you’d like to share? Do you agree with the advice given by James Scott Bell and Stephen King?

20 thoughts on “The Best Writing Advice

  1. Great post Brinda! Thank you. I totally agree with both writers. If you want to be a prolific author you have to make it a priority each day, something at this stage in my life Is struggle with. I always write better when I read. It opens the creative mind and lets the juices flow.

  2. This is SUCH great advice, Brinda. Well, technically James and Stephen.

    Reading and writing has been a challenge for me. No. Not in the traditional sense. [Although, the traditional sense has been questioned during some back and forth speed chats with Sherry]

    If a book grabs me, I’m gone. Down-for-the-cliche-alert-count until I finish. I hold up your two books as examples. If it doesn’t pop my kettle corn, I put it down. What’s missing is what Stephen King said, “this book sucks! I can write so much better than this.” I don’t follow through by going to my WIP and proving it to myself — for the hour, the ten minutes, the two hours I would have spent on a good read.

    And, James Scott Bell? Write every (or most) days. There are piddle-away minutes hours in every one of my days. Do I put them to good use? Of course not. Note the piddle-away comment above. Write every day, but don’t write to a dictated word count for each day. That flexibility is what this writer needed to hear.

    TIMERS! My timer is my new best non-human friend. Well, besides my doggies. Set the dang thing for 30 minutes, an hour, even 90 minutes and DO NOTHING but write during that window. Then, take a TIMED break and come back to writing.

    WHOOP! I’ve reached the end of my Social Media time slot. Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ah, on the days and weeks when I embrace that job title, and work at my craft as though it were my job because, hello, it is my job, those are the days when my productivity AND my creativity soar. Thanks for sharing these clips, served with a side dish of validation.

  4. Yes, yes, yes Brinda … I agree with both of these men. I remember reading a post on Nora Roberts web page. She describes her writing day, every day, holiday, birthday and Christmas day. I found the same info in Stephen King’s book on writing. Nora’s key note address in Orlando RWA Nationals was to poo-hoo those who thought it was too hard or were amazed at how could she write so much. Her answer: Butt in chair. Simple and clear.

    Reading is the other hand, and when you put reading and writing together you get the entire picture. Thanks for such a great post, wonderful video and stellar advice !!

  5. Making writing a priority is really important if you want to get those novels written. 🙂 And yes, you have GOT to read. It’s tough to make time, but it’s so true. 🙂

  6. I remember in King’s book he said he writes 2,000 words every day of the year. I liked Bell’s idea of a weekly word count, but I think having a word count is crucial. When I take long breaks, I then find it excruciating to get words on the page. I just need to follow that advice!

  7. Thanks for sharing these. I agree with reading plenty and also writing regularly. Drafts seems to take forever, but they really take a few months up to a year if I write diligently.

  8. It always puzzles me when I hear of writers who don’t do a lot of reading. It seems so essential to developing your style and skill.

    Thanks for posting the videos!

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