This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Chris Pavone, author of The Accident – not to be mistaken with The Accident by C. L. Taylor, our April Novelicious Book Club Pick – has given us his top five writing tips.
1. Be deliberate. Writing is a never-ending series of choices. What word to use here? What sequence of ideas in this paragraph? What backstory for this character? What plot structure for the whole damn thing? I think it’s a good idea to answer all these questions purposefully, not haphazardly. There should be a reason for everything.
2. Be careful. Literary agents and editors are always, always hoping to fall in love with something new; that’s their jobs. But I’m afraid many beautiful love affairs are ended before they’ve begun by an ill-timed typo on the second page or an ill-considered vocabulary choice on the third.
3. Accept editing. Find people whose opinions you trust, and ask them to be honest with you about what they like and don’t like about your work, and then do something about their complaints. The solution doesn’t need to be exactly what your reader suggested, but it should probably be something.4. Tell the story. Read the last page you’ve written. Can you identify how exactly it’s moving the story forward? No? Then delete it. This is hard to do, but it’s essential.
5. Delete. Speaking of which: read any page of yours. Now try to figure out if you can accomplish the same goals – whatever the goals on that page – in half a page. I bet you can. This too is hard, but probably not as hard as you think.
The Accident by Chris Pavone is out now!