Tag Archives: writing trends

5 Writing Tips from author Harlan Coben

Sometimes so much is going on that I have to step back a little from some things, and that’s what’s happened with blogging. I haven’t forgotten you, I’m still close by, and I’ll keep plodding along. I hope you’ll plod along with me.

Today I read helpful tips from bestselling mystery and thriller author Harlan Coben. Here they are for you:

Working off my Rule 3, I’m going to skip boring you with a long introductory paragraph and get straight to it:

1. You can always fix bad pages. You can’t fix no pages.

So write. Just write. Try to turn off that voice of doom that paralyzes you.

2. Never try to jump on a trend.

In part I say this because by the time you write it, the trend is over, but mostly I say it because you have to love what you’re writing and really believe in it.

3. Write like there is a knife against your throat.

The knife is right there and if you bore us, flick, you’re dead. Write with that kind of energy. Make every word count. The great Elmore Leonard said it best: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”

4. The distance is nothing. It is only the first step that is difficult.

I don’t know who originally said this, but the first word you write each day is the hardest, the second word is the second hardest, and so on. Once you start, it does get easier.

5. There are days you just can’t write. Fill them with self-loathing.

What, snowflake, you wanted me to tell you it’s okay to feel this way? It’s not. On the days I’m not writing, I am wracked with guilt and self-hatred. If you’re not, try another profession.


I feel quite sure there are one or two points you won’t agree with, so tell me! What would you change about what he said? What works for you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Is it enough to be crazy in your writing?

Today I’ve been busy taking care of the normal things at Dad’s; I also have to pull together a manuscript for 12×12 in 2012 before this month ends – in only four more days! Yikes! Hopefully I can spend time on that this afternoon while Dad is resting, but first ..

when I saw the following quote on Twitter I knew it would be a great topic for today. My other blog ideas will have to wait awhile.

“Being crazy isn’t enough.” – Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss was famous for his much-loved zany stories and characters. They may have been written with a message, but what was important was that they were fun, funny, and memorable. But why were – and are – they so popular? Besides the fact that they are a delight to read, could it be because they were different, daring, and really stood out for their uniqueness? At the time they first appeared in the publishing world, illustrators were mostly creating commonplace characters, what was expected, created with care to fit the norm. But not Dr. Seuss. He did not fit the mold, neither as an author nor as an illustrator, and he didn’t want to – even though he was warned to not veer away from what was being accepted then because doing so could only mean failure.

These days you hear two different minds on the topic of what to write. Some say to be sure to offer what publishers are looking for or risk your hard work being tossed aside. Others say to submit the different things, things that are not the trend, because how else is the trend going to change? How is your work going to be noticed if you don’t take that chance? I have even read that some publishers are waiting for the outstanding off-the-trend work, something new to get excited about in the piles of the usual submissions.

How do you feel about that?

Look at a few more of Dr. Seuss’ quotes that reveal his philosophy:

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

“In my world, everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!”

Now, does that last one sound like a normal thinking mind that sticks with the every-day-the-same routine that produces the every-story-must-fit-the-usual? I think not! 🙂

What do you think Dr. Seuss meant by ‘being crazy isn’t enough’? Do you think it is  enough?

What do you think you have to be, or have to do, to become a ‘best read’ author?

How willing are you to take chances and be different to be noticed by an editor and/or publisher? Do you ‘dare to be different’?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! … 🙂