On The Bench

Best advice ever. On writing.

Writing is like any other activity…everyone has an opinion on how best to do it. What is the most valuable piece of writing advice you’ve been given over the years?
  • Terry Ambrose:

    Go in late, get out early. By starting a scene as late as possible, it keeps the pace of the story moving quickly.

  • Nancy J. Cohen:

    Don’t compare yourself to other writers. This is the hardest one to accept. We always see other authors in the same genre who are more prolific, make more money, are more social media savvy, or are experts at branding. We have to accept who we are and the pace at which we write and the social media activities that we’re comfortable doing. It’s an ongoing struggle.

  • Debra H. Goldstein:

    Enjoy it. Even when the words don’t seem like they will ever come, remember writing is a passion not a task.

  • Cheryl Hollon:

    Setting up and sticking to a routine has been the best advice I’ve ever received. This didn’t happen quickly. First, I needed to discover my most productive time of day and set my routine around that time frame. It turns out I write best in the early mornings before nine.

  • Diane A.S. Stuckart:

    I can’t recall who first reminded me of this, but it’s a mantra I find myself often repeating: A rising tide lifts all boats. It’s too easy as an author to get angsty over why so-and-so won an award, or made a bestseller list, or signed a 10-book contract, or got a movie deal, and I didn’t. The thing is, if so-and-so could do it, that means there’s an opportunity for me to do it, too! And knowing this allows me to be genuinely happy for others’ successes. 

  • Maggie Toussaint:

    Treat your muse like she’s Mother Nature. Let her have free rein to storm and to shine, to blow and to settle. By respecting your inner creativity, you will have a wealth of ideas. My muse adores wildlife photography, bright colors, Hallmark movies, butter pecan ice cream, and puppies. She also prefers to write in her pjs.

  • Lois Winston

    Every scene and all dialogue must do one of two things—either advance the plot or tell the reader something she needs to know about the point of view character AT THAT MOMENT. If the scene or dialogue does neither of these, it’s filler and shouldn’t be in your book.

Whether you're a reader or a writer, we'd love to hear what you think. Let us know!


6 thoughts on “Best advice ever. On writing.

  1. I think a lot of authors compare themselves to others. Such as if I wrote cozy mysteries and someone posted that there was a cozy mystery that was so good I think they think why was mine not better. I love authors that just write and don’t write similiar stories as others. I feel for them as it is a hard job and I appreciate every good book I read and review.

  2. While I find that there are some ideas or themes that are used by different authors in their books, each is done in the author’s own style so each story is still unique.

  3. I have read books by terry and lois the authors featured in this giveaway . They are both great authors. I always recommend these 2 authors .

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