As someone who tries to write very consciously and deliberately, I like to pay attention to writing tips from agents, publishers, and other authors. I also got a fair few back in English classes when I was a young’un in high school. I’ve seen some pretty awful writing tips in my day, and I wanted to point out how absurd some of those are. Here’s a quick summary of the five worst pieces of advice I’ve ever received, and why I think they’re so dumb.
5. Outline your stories before you write.
Okay, I get that it works for some people, maybe, but it sure doesn’t work for me. When I try to outline I end up boxing myself into corners without giving my characters room to live, breathe, and make their own choices. My characters come to life on the page, sometimes almost without my consent, and do things…
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