likegyldig asked: do you have any writing tips?
1. Write. Not just what you know but what you are. You don’t know the life of a Novosibirsk shoe-fetishist hitman, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t write it if you gave him your own heart.
2. Keep writing. You’ll have to go back and rework from time to time - in fact, it’ll give you more momentum as things fall into line - but if you rewrite chapter one thirty times it’s still chapter one. The same amount of writing in a straight line gets you a finished draft.
3. Write unrestrainedly. Narrative discipline can be imposed; excitement is much harder to add to a lumpen structure. Use the shapes and words you want. Be profligate, then cut. Don’t let anyone tell you to avoid Latinisms, adverbs, or semi-colons. They exist. They belong to you. If you don’t like them, cut them, but they are no one else’s to forbid.
4. Write now. Don’t wait. You can get useful work done in a ten minute window. Five. Three. On the other hand, learn to bank the urgency, let it out when you can. Life will not always afford you five minutes, and that too is part of the gig. Part of your job is to be in the world. Someone who can’t ditch their desk for half an hour to hug a friend who’s had a bad breakup may or may not be a good writer, but they’re definitely an asshole. Contrary to what you may have heard, that’s not a requirement.
5. Write again. Write, cut, rework, reshape, up-end, restructure. A storyteller can begin the narrative anywhere and make it grip. Now again, and again until you feel wrung out. And again until it stops getting better. It’s never finished, you just come to the end if yourself - or your publisher’s schedule. It’s a stamina game.
6. Let it go. Show it. Accept exposure, admiration, misunderstanding, praise and contempt. Accept also that the book everyone is talking about, enthusiastically or not, is not the book you care about, because you’ve been in love with the new one since somewhere in the middle of stage 5.
7. Repeat. Learn. Improve.
I think of what story I can tell that hasn’t been told before or told in my way before. What questions can I ask? How can I show a new world, a new future, and new possibilities to a young reader?
Because they’re listening. Don’t ever think they’re not.”