Have you ever noticed that I don’t give writing advice?
I can’t remember the last time I did.
The subject rarely comes up, at least on my end. I wouldn’t know the first thing to say to a would-be writer. Frankly, I roll my eyes when a writer who’s written one or two books starts to pontificate about the “craft”.
Of course, I think you ought to know basic grammar. Plus, there are lots and lots of books you could read. I still read craft books. I don’t necessarily agree with some of their advice, however.
Writing is one of those art forms that requires practice. The more practice, the better you are. Sometimes. Not all the time.
When you first start out as a writer, there’s a natural explosion of enthusiasm, drive, and passion that makes up for a lot of inexperience. There’s a transition that you go through during the first, second, third book. Then, one day, you wake up and realize you’ve written twenty books, then thirty, then forty. Or sixty-three, like me.
It doesn’t get easier to tell a story, frankly. Maybe you care more. Maybe you want to connect with the reader more. You learn the process. You know the pitfalls. You acknowledge that the second draft is the killer and the most important. You know that you’re going to mourn the end of the book and the relationship you’ve created with the characters. Hopefully, you can transfer that to readers.
Maybe there are books that can convey the sense of wonder I feel when I finish a book and know it’s good. Then again, maybe it’s just the mystique of being a writer.
How can you teach that?