I could fill this blog with infinite writing advice, and there's infinite writing advice out there for you to take on (whether you find it, or it's given to you specifically).
But what about when your instincts tell you the advice isn't right?
As a writer, you need to know when to trust your storytelling techniques - no matter what others have to say!
Here are three types of writing advice to avoid:
1. Anything that opposes your voice
Grammar rules are a favourite of English teachers, but they aren't always the right way to go in creative writing. This is because fiction - particularly your characters' voice - isn't always correct!
How often do you speak out loud in grammatically correct sentences? Most of us have our very own language and form of communication, completely unique to us, despite existing in the broader category of 'English speaker'.
This means that although some people may disagree with your writing style, it's ultimately up to you to write in a way that feels authentic to yourself and your character.
A young boy will have a totally different voice than an old woman, so to feel real, your book needs to cater to this.
2. Negative comments about your characters
Constructive criticism of characters is one thing, but negativity is another. The likability of a character is mostly about the individual reader's taste, so if one person doesn't like them, that doesn't mean you have to completely rewrite them!
Instead, reflect on the advice offered and see if it feels right. Can you see where this person may be coming from? Or is it just their personal preference?
Again, it's your decision to write the characters you want. As long as they're three-dimensional and believable, and the reader can feel some kind of emotional connection or understanding with them, personal preference doesn't matter.
Make sure to read my blog post on character basics.
And for even more, check out my Character Building Worksheet on Etsy (use the code at the end of this blog for 20% off)!
3. Comments on POV and tense
Some people hate first person. Some people won't read anything else. Some stories can't be told in past tense. Some work best that way.
It's up to you to decide how to write your book!
Play to your strengths and what feels right. Instead of thinking, 'well, most fantasy books are past tense, so I better stick to that', do what you intrinsically know will best tell your story.
If there's a lot of feedback saying your story might be told better in a different point of view or tense, really consider it, but never stray from your author instincts.
Check out my blog post on style and point of view.
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