The Worst Good Writing Advice I’ve Received So Far

There are many rules about writing prose fiction. Any creative writing course will drill those rules into you. But don’t be fooled. These “rules” are merely guidelines that help you focus your prose. But they aren’t commandments. I think there is only one real rule so far as prose construction goes:

Rules about writing should be followed, unless they shouldn’t.

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Word Count: Struggling to Find My Rhythm Again

The consistently excellent J.C. Cauthon (J.C.’s for life, yo!) writes about my own Achilles heal: getting into the rhythm of writing.

Specifically, she writes about trying to find the groove of writing again. You know how it is: thousands of ideas, mere minutes of free time. Life intervenes. A move half-way across the country is intervening in mine. But once you start down the dark side of not writing, forever will it…

Damn, I am SUCH a nerd.

Anywhoozle, writing isn’t just a matter of getting the words on the page. You have to plan, work, cajole, beg, weep copiously, and outline.

After all, before you can run the race, you have to build the track.

This makes for sweaty work, and after a break it’s hard to resume the grind.

Couthon, although describing her specific problems, shows that writing frustrations are universal. I’m right there with you, Jessica. No time, and hundreds of ideas to fill that no time with. A mess of work to clean up a mess of a work.

What a glamorous life we lead!

Word Count: Struggling to Find My Rhythm Again

J. C. Cauthon, Author


Well, the kids were out of school from March 26th until the morning of April 4th, and I managed to get practically nothing written during that week.  I love my kids, and I do okay when it is just three of them, but as soon as that fourth one is thrown into the mix, word production tanks.  So, after a week of not writing, I am finding it hard to get back in the groove of things.

For one, I do not have a definite project to work on at the moment.  I have a ton of stuff to work on, but everything needs more brainstorming and organization before I can jump on any of them, and my novels need a lot more world-building.

Secondly, I have been trying to organize my novel workings.  I’m usually pretty good about keeping things organized, but when it comes to massive amounts of…

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Not So Much Writer’s Block More Writer’s Freeze

In the latest post on LionAroundWriting, the subject of “writer’s freeze” is addressed.

Specifically, this refers to a total writer shutdown when panicking about word counts and trying to keep your subject as brief as possible without cutting everything interesting out of a story.


This is more than a post; this is a conversation. So please join in the talk!


writers freeze chemistrydotabout

ANYONE ELSE GET THIS? Maybe this terror of going over a word limit began at university with 2000 word limits on essays. I get the freeze when I’m writing a short story. Maybe freeze isn’t a great word for it but I’ll explain. Sometimes I will be writing a piece and I’m so conscious of word count that I end up writing lazy sentences, freezing up; instead of describing the world and filling in those all important details that bring a story to life, I’ll write stubby sentences, providing a skeleton but little else as a result of being way too mindful of the number of words. It’s some form of mental block.

And if I plan to write for a WordPress post, I’m always trying to keep it snappy, under about 5-600 words, and the freeze begins again. I’m so habituated to strive for 500 words online…

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GAH! Second Passes Pass So Slow! Bonus: Poetry!

QUESTION: When do you as a writer decide that a work is finished?

I am still going on my second pass on the novel. I have jumped around as needed. Second drafts are writing triage. I have to decide what can be saved and what isn’t worth the time to fix.

What I have to beware of is constant polishing. There will come a point where I have to “abandon” my novel. That isn’t to say that I am quitting. It means that I have to declare it “finished” and move on to my many other projects.

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Censorship is Hilarious!

Censorship is useless. And funny!

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, a near-word, replacement word, or initial doesn’t really mask the actual word. It just pushes the word into the mind of the reader while giving the author semi-plausible deniability.

I want to hammer this motherplucker home, so I am including a censored story. I call it…

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