1) Chaneling Sarah McLachlin
Everyone loves a mystery, but building too many mysteries/making everything mysterious can leave the reader confused. I delight in not saying things and then having a reveal. But sometimes I'm just creating a mystery around something without a payoff. Like if I refuse to say where my characters are until two pages into a scene. It wasn't mysterious, it was just plain confusing to the reader. Anchoring the reader is more important than being mysterious.
2) Thinking I'm T.S. Eliot
I love the idea of cats having many names, but it was the worst decision with my characters. If she's Victoria with her grandparents, Toria with her family, and Ri with her friends, readers can lose track of the character and even think there are 3 different characters. Give someone one name. Two at most and only if it's absolutely necessary.
3) Ignoring Carly Simon's Words
Vanity has to go. Just because I think I'm amazing and the passage is beyond brilliant, doesn't mean it actually works for my story. Usually what I hold onto the tightest is either 100% right or 100% wrong for the story. I take a breath and ask myself what does the reader need? Then I cut and paste that scene in a blank document, and pray I can use it somewhere someday.
The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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