Wisdom from Others – Three Tricks from Kathleen McCleary

Once a week or so I troll the Internet looking for useful writing tips. When I find some good ones, I share them here.

This week’s writing tips are from Kathleen McCleary, who writes what used to be called women’s fiction but is really better just called literary fiction or commercial fiction. You can view her full post here at Writer Unboxed.

She talks about tips from Ray Bradbury, Richard Russo, and Chuck Wendig she’s used to get unstuck when she’s writing. All three tips in the post are, I think, potentially useful, depending on who you are and how you work, but more important is the bit of advice tucked inside the last paragraph describing tip number two:

“Once I had those first few sentences I put Russo away and wrote my book, the way I like to write.”

There comes a point at which the tips fade away and you just have to write. Whenever you’re cruising around looking for information about how to write, remember that. Use other people’s tools sparingly, and be careful not to overuse any one in particular. At some point you have to put away all the guides, how-tos, dos and don’ts, and everything else, and just tell a story the best way you know how to.

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