Advice from Debut Authors

At YA Muses, debut authors share the best writing advice they ever got. Lots of great suggestions to take into the new year. A couple of my favorites:

“Don’t be easy on your characters. If there’s no conflict, there’s no action, and without action, your characters go nowhere.” – Laura Ellen, author of BLIND SPOT

“What is the worst thing possible that could happen to your character?  Make it happen.” – Robin Bridges, author of THE GATHERING STORM and THE UNFAILING LIGHT

I think all writers can benefit by pushing their characters more. If your characters aren’t facing significant challenges (note–significant can be really small and personal, too), the reader won’t care about their journeys. And if the conflicts are easily resolved, the readers will be able to guess the outcome before they read it. You want to keep your characters and your reader surprised.

I also like:

“”It’s okay that it’s taking you so long to write your book. Books take time.” -Mike Jung, author of GEEKS, GIRLS and SECRET IDENTITIES”

Writing a book takes time. You write the first draft, you revise, you critique it, you revise again, you try something else, you revise again, etc. It’s a long process, and that’s okay. That’s not to say you should let your draft lag. You should be working on it–but don’t be frustrated if your first draft isn’t your final draft. This is art, guys; it takes a lot of work.

My own debut advice? Writing is always work. You think “If I could only get an agent!” or “If I could only get published!” but those things don’t change the fact that writing is about you sitting down and getting the work done. But it should also be fun. When I’m frustrated with a draft, I try to remember how I’d write (really bad) novels when I was in middle/high school and how much fun it was. You get to create worlds and investigate interesting people. It may be work, but it’s also the crazy coolest work out there.

Make sure to check out the full advice post, and feel free to share your own best ever writing advice in the comments.

One thought on “Advice from Debut Authors

  1. Jennifer Butler Basile says:

    Thanks for sharing – especially the first two quotes, which I’ve heard before, but needed to hear again to light that fire under my desk chair!

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