Goodreads asked L.M. Elliott:

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

L.M. Elliott I think people become stymied worrying that the first sentence, the first page has to be absolutely perfect. Think of writing like throwing a clay pot, of if we want to be more high-minded like chiseling a marble statue. The art is in the refinement, going back over and over, adding, deleting, picking the best word over another almost perfect-one. In other words: start, keep going, then go back and polish. Don't just sit around and blah-blah-blah talk about it. Do it! There is a marvelous quote from playwright Noel Coward: "I love writers who don't write just when it rains." Write dialogue that actually sounds the way people speak; use it to reveal character. Include some pictorial descriptions. Add elements of taste, smell, tactile touch. If you are writing historical fiction, for goodness sakes, get your facts RIGHT! And then make whatever your characters do plausible, in keeping with the challenges and customs of that time period. It's great for your protagonist to be a maverick, but it still has to be in reaction to conditions of the time in which he or she lives. Finally, read your chapters out loud to yourself. If you trip over a phrase, or have to take a breath in the middle of a sentence, you need to rewrite that. Good luck!

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