Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What I Wish I Knew When I Started #3 and #4

The third thing I wish I knew:

Writing the entire, full-length, 300 pg. manuscript isn't even the tip of the iceberg! Go get an ice-pick, hack a little piece from the iceberg, and that's what you've just written. SERIOUSLY! The real work, and there's a LOT of it, is still looming in your manuscript's future!

But don't feel overwhelmed! Every single thing you do to hone your MS, from writing that first word, to seeing it in print, is WORTH the other 95% percent of the work!

The fourth thing I wish I knew:

Take criticism! Even if you don't agree with it! And...

1. Bend it into something you agree with, something that fits your vision of the manuscript (because you're an awesome writer, and that's what writers do! You can work things into your writing like a magician pulling a bunny from his top hat).

2. Count every minute revising as the best practice you could possibly have for your future as a published writer. Because writing isn't really writing. It is rewriting! And perfecting! And streamlining!

3. Don't get offended by criticism, because everyone will have a different vision of your book! And the people who value your friendship will not hold back with an honest opinion. Honesty is priceless.

4. Always stay true to yourself at the same time.

And if you're curious, here are #1 and #2 from previous posts (click on the number if you actually want to read the post. Or, if you're like me--always in a rush-- look below)...

LESS IS MORE (especially in YA).

The delete button is your friend! Cherish it. Love it! USE it!

So there you go! Not that I'm certified to offer wisdom, but a bit of wisdom anyway!

19 comments:

coffeelvnmom said...

Great wisdom! Seriously! Thanks so much for sharing! =)

Jessica

IanBontems said...

Wise words indeed!

And so so true. I had no idea how much work was involved in writing a novel.

Karen Akins said...

Such a great series! Thanks for sharing.

Kristi Helvig said...

So true. The first draft is downright easy, compared to what comes after!

Tere Kirkland said...

Love these posts, and yes, I'm always editing. I'm actually excited to get back to drafting for a little while!

Thanks, Bethany!

Amber Argyle said...

I've been thinking of doing a post like this. There are so many things that blindsided me after I signed my contract.

Liza said...

I'm so grateful for people more experienced who share their wisdom with those of us who are less so.

B.J. Anderson said...

Love it!

Jamie Burch said...

I love this series! Thank you...:)

salarsenッ said...

Delete button. Delete button...I'll remember. Or I'll keep trying. Why does deleting feel so painful?

G said...

The "undo" option is a great sidekick to have as well.

Stephanie Thornton said...

First drafts as the tip of the iceberg- no kidding! I couldn't call myself a writer in all honesty until I'd revised my MS 17 times.

Yep. 17.

Jemi Fraser said...

Since I've learned to save each major editing round in its own file, I'vealso learned to love my delete button :)

RaShelle said...

The delete button is my friend. The delete button is my friend. *chanting*

I agree. Thanks for the tips. =D

asabourova said...

Thanks for the advice, Bethany. I love the part about the delete button. It is sooooo true!!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I learned last year that the delete button is my friend. And what a great friend it is. :D

Bethany Wiggins said...

You guys make my days, over and over again. Thanks you!!!

JEM said...

Always great wisdom in these :). Especially for us ADD types that want their knowledge in bite-size pieces. Thanks!

lbdiamond said...

These are GREAT tips! I'm lucky enough to have used them and so I can say from experience that they do, indeed, work!

Nice post!!!