Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thanks but No Thanks...

Photo by: artur84/
You know what is a really inappropriate thing to tell a writer? How to write their book. Why is it that these 'helpful hints' only come from those who DON'T write for a living?

 Easy. No author or journalist appreciates it when someone else, who is NOT working on the project thinks they know better than the creator of that work how to get our point across. At least not without being asked first. That's what critique partners are for.

I don't go inside other people's offices and organize their desks. I don't sneak into restaurant kitchens and advise chefs on which spices I prefer to use.

Plot advice is right up there with suggestions on how to beat Writer's Block when you don't have Writer's Block...I can say, "I haven't had time to write lately." and suddenly I'm bombarded with ideas on how to get my creative juices flowing. Like I didn't know...I've got two completed novels (actually four, if you include the unpublishables) and another on the way. Golly gee whiz, I had NO IDEA that a quick nap or a walk or maybe if I work on something else might be helpful. (Head hits desk.) Can you say 'condescension'? Better yet, can you SPELL it without autocorrect? 

Many of us work on multiple projects, blogs, interviews, blurbs, marketing and more. Very few of us have days where we simply cannot write. When it DOES happen, trust me we know how to handle it.

Last week I said, "I finally figured out that last scene switch point and I know who's POV I need to be in next."  My friend said, "Good for you! Now you might want to think about where this character is going..."

"I know. I got it."
"He or she could-"
"No REALLY. I GOT IT." I'm trying not to bite his head off... "I know where she's going and what happens to her." I'm a plotter, but I don't think Pantsers appreciate the advice any more than I do.

Why do non-writers seem to think we need their help? Do they think we are such emotional misfits that we need assistance with our own craft? Okay, maybe some of us are a little weird...But we're perfectly capable of plying our trade better than anyone else. We're also capable of doing other things, such as dressing ourselves and ordering pizza. And we didn't ask you.

Whew! I know I said my next post wouldn't be negative, but I actually feel better for ranting, thank you, and I hope I haven't upset too many people, but it needed to be said! ...At least it wasn't about cats, right?


  1. WOW sorry if I crossed the line. Can recall a comment recently that could apply!

  2. WOW sorry if I crossed the line. Can recall a comment recently that could apply!

    1. No, NO! Kevin, you've never done that! This wasn't written for you, Sweetie! I don't recall you saying ANYTHING like that! I'm sorry...:( I knew this post would get me in trouble.