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Contrary Writing Advice Untangled

story mechanics course contrary writing advice

Writing advice is everywhere. All influential authors have been quoted on their craft, and novice writers are bombarded with this curated wisdom. New to the craft? Got stuck? Prepare to be thrown a random selection of ‘writing truths’ and be convinced that these contain the solution to your problem.

It’s tempting to believe that “if this worked for these famous authors, it will work for me!”

Yes, it may. It may be that eye opener you needed. Or it will feel like forcing a square peg into a round hole: as painful as it is futile. That isn’t to say that writing advice is bad advice. Not at all. But we tend to elevate simple quotes to religious creeds, and too many writers stress themselves about not being able to comply.

Needless self-torment, because many of those truths are often quoted out of context or sorely misinterpreted. These are my three pet peeves: