Charles LaFave

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Charles LaFave

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May 2014


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Charles LaFave I always have this anxiety about new writing, writing the parts of the story I don't know yet. I worked with a writing coach named Jerry Cleaver for…moreI always have this anxiety about new writing, writing the parts of the story I don't know yet. I worked with a writing coach named Jerry Cleaver for awhile and his advice has always rung true to me: Lower your standards.

Don't be afraid to write badly. If you're willing to write badly, you'll never be blocked.

The other great piece of advice came from my writing teacher in college, David Jauss. After a tense class, he would say, "Don't forget, this is supposed to be fun." And we'd all laugh. So sometimes when I'm having a hard time, I'll have the characters say silly things to each other, or have a bear come out of the closet and eat someone in the middle of a scene.

And I'll just leave it like that and keep writing. It makes it fun, and sometimes it's a great way to reveal character. You get insights you might not have gotten otherwise.(less)
Charles LaFave There's no shortcut. But the good news is that it's really up to you how well you do. Back in the day, you had to send your manuscript to agents and…moreThere's no shortcut. But the good news is that it's really up to you how well you do. Back in the day, you had to send your manuscript to agents and editors and get rejections. You'd hear stories about people who had 2000 copies of their book printed through a vanity press and sold it out of the trunk of their car.

I knew people who said the "Celestine Prophecy" guy did that. A writer told me Christopher Paolini was selling "Eragon" on the street when he was 16 or something, before he was discovered. I don't know if that's true, but the point is that back in the day you'd be stuck with just a couple of bad options.

Today, it doesn't matter. You write what you want to write, get it edited, beta read, etc. Even if you don't have money, you can trade editing with people. You google how to format your books. You publish them yourself.

Then you get out there and start getting readers one at a time.

Traditional publishers are looking at those reports that say that self published authors are 30% or 40% or whatever of the market, they're seeing their in house authors struggle to get 10 reviews on Amazon, while some who writes shapeshifter BDSM stories gets 500. 5 stars, too.

I guess what I'm saying is that this is the best time in human history to be a writer, because now it's about legwork. I know writers who scored the big deal with publishers and it's the same for them. Either way it's about doing the work, tweeting to people, emailing people, hunting down reviews and readers one by one.

That's good news. Because it means that anyone can do it if you're willing to work.(less)
Average rating: 4.05 · 39 ratings · 18 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
Greeth

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