21 Things Writing Taught Me

1. Around one-quarter of the way into any new venture, something really bad will happen.
2. Just about one-quarter of the way from the ending, things will come to a climax; sometimes things get quite bloody during this time.
3. The hero sometimes loses.
4. “Good” and “evil” isn’t always black and white. Understanding the grays are what provide insight, and even compromise or reconciliation.
5. My feminine side is a lesbian.
6. If you magically change a person from one race to another, it affects their personality about as much as if you change their name. Often, the only change is to their appearance.
7. If you never listen when people speak, you’ll never be able to speak well enough to make them listen.
8. Laughter is, in fact, the best medicine.
9. Life is more fun when it’s a little scary, and just a bit unpredictable.
10. If you haven’t defined what a happy ending means, you’re not likely to write one.
11. Always write the ending before you write the beginning.
12. Plans are guides, not prisons. It’s okay to deviate from them. But winging-it requires a lot of clean-up work later.
13. Every time you fail, you should demonstrate some way in which that failure made you grow. Otherwise, the whole adventure seems a waste of time.
14. If you shut up sometimes, you’ll be amazed by the voices you can hear.
15. You have more imagination than you thought you did.
16. It is harder to say little and be meaningful, than to say a lot, and be pointless.
17. The most interesting characters you meet have a back story. If you are patient, they will share it with you.
18. Not everyone you meet matters. What’s important is that you can tell which ones do.
19. Even your best work needs a friendly critique. If you leave without knowing what is good about what you’ve done, it’s not friendly, and it wasn’t a critique. Find someone else.
20. Sometimes it’s easier to throw it all out, and start fresh. That’s not quitting, that’s renewal.
21. It will all work out in the end.


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