Here is Barmy’s Bountiful Bag of Advice for Writers

Here is Barmy’s Bountiful Bag of Advice for Writers, originally tweeted and originally published on this site http://ivebecomemyparents.com/really-helpful-crap/ and posted on my blog

  • Writer’s block is caused by a virus so antibiotics won’t work on it.
  • Remember: if people don’t understand your writing, they’re just not the target audience.
  • “Literally” is just another word for “Hey, here comes an exaggeration.”
  • “Write what you know” only matters if you know a lot more than other writers.
  • Remember: when in doubt, put an apostrophe before the “s”.
  • Always write the ending first. Otherwise you won’t know what to write about.
  • If it worked for Tolstoy it will work for you.
  • Add about 20% more words to your story. That way, when the editor’s done, it’ll be about right.
  • When finished with your manuscript, search and replace all commas with semicolons; they make you look way smarter.
  • Fonts. It’s all about the fonts. Fonts can pretty much make up for any crappy writing.
  • Don’t start writing until you have t-shirts and action figures designed. Need to be ready when your book is optioned.
  • All the good genres are taken. Invent your own.
  • If you don’t use a thesaurus every other paragraph, you’ll look like a catechumen.
  • Write a bunch of sex scenes one weekend. Then, any time you get stuck in your writing, just insert one of those.
  • Always include a picture of your family with your query. Agents can’t resist that.
  • Everyone writes from left to write. If you really want to stand out, go right to left.
  • Your mother really will be your harshest critic. If she likes it, you know the agent will.
  • Just do what I do.
  • Step 1: get a pro bio pic.   2:  get business cards.   3:  tell everyone you write.    4: quit your job.  5: stalk agents.  6: write
  • Realism is important. Remember, the average person uses the bathroom about once an hour.
  •  The real work begins once you’re published. No I mean it: you’ll be working at McDonalds.
  • Bold all your writing if you can’t be bold with your writing.
  •  Hand write your MS and deliver the only copy in person, in its entirety, to the agent of your choice.
  • Sure you can get rich writing in genres other than YA.
  • The first draft is always the best. Don’t mess with it.
  • Non-fiction is just fiction with real names.
  • If your manuscript is rejected, change the title and resend it.
  • Plot is a left-over technique from when people didn’t have TV. You don’t need it anymore.
  • Remember: the good guys wear white and the bad guys wear black.
  • Oh come on, how hard could writing be?
  • Just write a blog. Agents and editors will find you.
  • “Remember, your readers can’t be sure who’s talking unless you clearly state it between each line of dialogue,” I said.
  • Most people couldn’t pull it off but you’d be great at the passive-aggressive voice.
  • Always do it the way Disney does: Kill the protagonist’s mother early.
  • If you buy a million copies of your own book, you’ll be more likely to be a best-seller.
  • Sure, your life would absolutely make a riveting memoir.
  • Use emoticons in your writing. All the modern novels are going to have them.
  • This is my genre. Go find your own.
  • Don’t waste time reading. You should be writing, not sitting around reading other people’s stuff.
  • Don’t write; become one with your keyboard and just let it flow.
  • All the good writers sit around on Twitter on Saturday evenings because they have no lives. Wait, that one’s true.
  • Remember: authentic dialogue requires the insertion of “um” and “uh huh” with some regularity.
  • Agents are way more likely to take you on if you send chocolate with your query. (You’re welcome, agents)
  • Make sure to tell your readers everything they need to know. If you show them, they might miss it.
  • Why be interesting when you can just use a different font?
  • Always grammarize your work well.
  • Pick a writing schedule and stick to it. For example: every third Tuesday from 5:00 to 5:45.
  • Quit your day job the minute an agent asks for partials.
  • Write when drunk. Most of your readers will be and that way they’ll understand you better.
  • Naw, don’t worry about marketing; the publisher will deal with all that.
  • I have a blog so that makes me an expert.
  • If you’re not writing at least 100 pages/day, you’re slacking.
  • Plagiarism is only if you use more than 3 paragraphs of someone’s work. You worry too much.
  • Yes, just because you think it’s funny, everyone else will too.
  • Authors get paid by the average number of words per sentence so use as many as you can.
  • Cliches became cliches for a reason; why mess with a good thing?
  • Start with a good cover. Agents and editors always judge books by their covers.
  • Yes, many successful writers got their start writing epitaphs.
  • One word sentences? Yes.
  • Plot is just a crutch for people whose writing style alone isn’t good enough to hold a reader.
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