There is a LOT of writing advice and tips out there. Some of it is great, but there are a few that drive us crazy! Why would you ever tell an author that?
Join us as we share the bits of writing advice that have us gripping our keyboards with white knuckles of rage.
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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from Writing Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt
Hello I am Jesper
and I Am Autumn
This is Episode and 93 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast and there are loads of well meaning, and also pretty good writing advice out there. But there are also those that we just a, well, wait, and we are going to share 10 shots, examples today, and a, well, hopefully, I guess, cause we eat, we split this up. We each came up with five, but knowing us, we could have like, I expect at least two to overlap that as my guests, umm, there's a chance that it could be all fine, but hopefully we're gonna vintage hopefully were going to manage or at least eight pieces have a unique Advice if not 10, we'll see.
Jesper (1m 16s):
We'll see. But we tried to prepare 10 examples or at least, and hopefully, and the process will also menage to, well I guess deep on some of the, shall we say less strong Advice that exists out there.
Autumn (1m 30s):
I think that'd be fantastic. And it will be a ton of fun to hear what you find is the worst Advice yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm looking forward to get into this. Yes, but at first, so I haven't talked to you for a week. How are things over on the other side of the Atlantic?
Jesper (1m 48s):
It sounds good. It's good to have it. It's another one of those a are coming out of a busy weekend and I know that happens, which we were often, it feels like, but a Saturday, my, my oldest son had friends over for his birthday party. Oh excellent. He's turning 12. So you can almost guess what activity they have planned for this party can tell you if your boys, they all only boys for the birthday party and turning 12, they are, there's almost the only one thing they can do.
Autumn (2m 21s):
All right. You see, I'm not around 12 year old boys. So I I claim total ignorance.
Jesper (2m 29s):
It was a, they were just playing computer. So everybody brought their own computers and then they just sit there for eight hours in play computer. Righty that that's in there mind that's a potty, you know, I think the older people don't understand. Yeah. I was gonna say, are you like playing through the internet connection?
Autumn (2m 51s):
You were already playing with your friend's what's the matter is three in the same room. I then your next to each other. You, you are not.
Jesper (3m 0s):
So that's a huge difference apparently. Right? I can't wrap my and I live in this era and I can't wrap my brain around the things people do. So this is not a good sign. I always knew I was born in the wrong time period. Yeah, I think we were. Yeah. And I, on Sunday I was out to at a soccer tournament with my youngest, but actually then in the afternoon, a, our oldest actually start to feel pretty bad if you know, you know, he had a sore throat yesterday.
Jesper (3m 32s):
Oh Dan This. Yeah. And this morning he felt the, a bit constricted in his breathing So yeah. So we, as opposed to have another birthday party for our family and friends for this coming weekend. So I called the doctor this morning and we basically booked a COVID-19 test for him. So he's gonna get tested tomorrow. Oh, I don't think it's the coronavirus. I don't think so. I think it's just like normal falled flue kind of thing.
Jesper (4m 2s):
I, I think, but I don't know a, so we better be in the safe side. So we going to get him tested tomorrow. Yeah.
Autumn (4m 9s):
Well fingers crossed for him.
Jesper (4m 11s):
Yeah. Yeah. Hopefully it'll be okay.
Autumn (4m 15s):
Jesper (4m 17s):
Yeah. Yeah. That's not good. So he's just been home. Today's he's been watching you tube for 11 hours to do. And I, when I was out like asking him, but some point don't even want me to do something else. So could you maybe read the book or something? She was like, what?
Autumn (4m 35s):
Well it's like, well, I just can't imagine. I mean, I was alone for what, three and a half weeks and I barely watched an hour of Netflix a day. So I guess I just do have been working at the time. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. How about getting stuff done? That was fantastic. I cranked up some big things on are to do lists. I'm not completely a day for sure. Yeah. But all the fun and games our over my husband came home yesterday. So he's doing his darndest to make sure my life is much more distracted, open a good way in a good way.
Autumn (5m 12s):
As long as the job of all spouses. Oh, we haven't seen each other for three and a half week. So it was like, you'd just get into something. And he like mentions, you know, once you get your attention, you just start writing a sentence. And I was like, Oh, what did y'all look read? Oh yeah, we should just put this stuff away for a couple of days than just talk. And that will be good. Yeah.
Jesper (5m 29s):
Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's always a bit weird. And I think at, at least I'd mentioned it to you before, but I don't remember if we talked about it on the podcast as well, but you know, my, my wife is from Finland. So when she goes back to Finland, once in a while, it's always like the first couple of days is like, Oh yeah, great. You, you can do all this stuff then you just want to do for yourself and what not that, but then like three or four days into it, it always feels a bit like a, this is a bit boring now. Yeah.
Autumn (5m 55s):
Right. That's what I think since, while probably since we in moved in together, this was the longest I have been alone in 20 years. Umm, so there was definitely some, like I had to find my pace again and find out what it's like to be me again at lone. And once I did, I was fine until you know about dinnertime. That's my weakness where they went to the talk to somebody. So yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. He was definitely into this and I'm happy to have a company again.
Jesper (6m 28s):
Yeah. And I'm sure the dog was happy that he returned as well.
Autumn (6m 31s):
He was so happy. He almost dissolved into a smaller versions of themselves. That's a weird thing about you are trying to imagine, what is this like inside the dog's mind, right? You don't understand that this person we'll come back. You know, probably a doc just thinks that he, he disappeared. They was like, there was like, I saw a light in the sh in the forest yesterday. It was probably UFO and it took, it just never kind of come pack and just know it thrilled.
Jesper (7m 0s):
If I only could explain this to my owner, she doesn't get it. She's like nothing happened to me. He could be busy too
Narrator (7m 13s):
A week on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast.
Jesper (7m 19s):
So I mentioned it a few episodes back, but our very special giveaway on Patreon has gone life today. So excited. I always love when we have these little special things because well, one, they make us do something a little bit different and challenging, but it's just fun. It's such a great group over there. It is indeed. And we've decided to give away a golden ticket too. The wealth building course that we are just about done with now a so that means that there will be a chance to win completely free access to the wealth building course.
Jesper (7m 55s):
And it's such a cool chorus, which I can say because I just finished building it on Saturday. So know it's over to you to look through it, but it will, it's just so beautiful. So in depth it is an amazing story that's for sure. And it covers so much wood putting it together. I'm like, I can see why this took us about two years to put together, coz it is just so in depth So yeah. A golden ticket. It is this, this is really phenomenal golden ticket. That's not the only thing because we are going to also do something for everyone who joined us because that's just, we are yeah.
Jesper (8m 32s):
The first of all, the, the golden ticket, we'll actually give you an exclusive VIP, early access to the cost. So that's pretty neat already. But yeah. So what M says to him, because we, we will only draw one winner for the golden ticket. So yeah. We just felt like that's, that's a bit sad for everybody else. And what about the existing patrons supporters?
Autumn (8m 57s):
They do. We want to give something to them as well.
Jesper (9m 1s):
Exactly. And so we came up with the idea of doing a, well, we have a quite short or are we where we talk about a webinar or are prerecording it, but it's going to be a special event just for everyone who is on Patreon.
Autumn (9m 19s):
Yeah. We decided to name it the reader's journey. And a, this is basically how are we using paid advertising to warm up the audience over several different steps. I don't know if I would call this stuff that we are doing here, like in new thing, but it's definitely a bit of a different way of thinking about paid advertising. So its like putting your ads into a system and having, and have a plan about what you are advertising and when you are doing it and Y and we're going to share all of that in this exclusive either it's going to be a prerecorded like cost module on it, or its going to be a webinar, which we were recorded.
Autumn (10m 3s):
One of the To at least But, we're going to make this available to everybody who signs up to support us on Patrion before the 19th of October, that is 2020 in case you're listening to this much later, but you have to sign up before the 19th of October to get the stuff. And of course all existing patron supporters will get it automatically. So if that sounds good to you, you can just follow the link two Patrion in this show notes here and its only going to cost your dollar a month.
Autumn (10m 35s):
Actually. I will say that it's a pretty damn cheap cos module. Yeah. That you can get your hands on. There
Jesper (10m 42s):
It is. It's a very cool advertising system. So it's definitely worth a dollar or at least an Oh my goodness. For a dollar or you could potentially when the world building course So, especially with the special exclusive access, that's going to be very limited anyway. So it's, it's a really great deal.
Autumn (10m 59s):
Yeah, I think so. All right. What else is on the end?
Jesper (11m 4s):
Have you seen so many people have enjoyed it in the Am Writing Fantasy group? I don't think we've could M we've been able to keep up with the, of, you know,
Autumn (11m 13s):
I'm actually, I, I have to admit that I am struggling a bit to keep up a, in the sense of costs I could just go into every day, but it's like, I feel like I approve eight to 10 people and then four hours later, there's another path sitting desk. It's a lot, it's a, its difficult to keep up at eight. It's a good problem to have this. It's not complaining at all. It's it's nice that a lot of people want to join the, the Am Writing Fantasy Facebook group. So I really like it. But at the same time it's is keeping us busy. That's it?
Jesper (11m 43s):
The people in it is so funny, you know, it gets caught waiting. We're sorry. It's just, wow. There's been so many, but the conversations, I mean just one of the recent ones could have plucky, a teenager defeat you're big, bad, and you know, there's fun things and that's already got 27 comments and that's only two hours old. So yeah, there are just kind of having fun. And of course there's lots of encouragement and support and this as well as the fun post. So I just love it over there, but yeah. Aye between sleep and work and you know, eating, I'm not over there as much as needed and Luke thank goodness our moderator is got our backs because it does seem that way.
Jesper (12m 24s):
Autumn (12m 27s):
Yeah. It's a, it's a very lively, an active group. So, but we do, we do keep the entry sort of that we have to approve people for Join. We do keep that in April. Of course I D well, if we wanted to make it easy on ourselves, we could just disable that and let everybody join, but we don't want to do that because we want to keep it pretty moderated in the group as well. And we do like to do a nice, welcome message to everybody who joins us when they come in.
Autumn (12m 58s):
So we try to keep it very moderated and making sure that we don't see all the, well, we do see some, sometimes the post about self promotion, but we delete them pretty quickly. Yeah.
Jesper (13m 10s):
This is a group for chatting about writing and the problems of being a writer, not promoting her books.
Autumn (13m 22s):
It seems that listeners have liked in the past when we've done our alternating lists or, and so I think like we set at the top of the episode, I think we should try to do the same thing here today. All right.
Jesper (13m 34s):
I think that sounds good. And that was kind of prepared. So I did mine in one. Don't know if you could call it an ascending or descending order, but from what does it bug? What I don't think is quite as bad to what I think is some of the Advice it drives me crazy. So I dunno if you have yours in that order. Yeah. I've done the same thing. See I yeah. That's what we're going to have some overlapping. It's just the way booth. Yeah.
Autumn (13m 57s):
Yeah. Well, yeah. I must admit I'm a bit curious if we do have overlapping or not, but the last few times in the past, when we had done these kind of episodes, we have had quite a lot of overlap, but I don't know. Lets see, let's see if, if this might be the one
Jesper (14m 16s):
To break the mold, I don't know. Okay. Well let's say it know.
Autumn (14m 19s):
Yeah. So if we cover five week and a, if a cover five hours and then maybe well, if we can, maybe we can say when we cover each of them, maybe we can say a bit about, you know, give a bit of justification on why we chose the, the ones we did.
Jesper (14m 36s):
Oh yes. I hope so. Because I have to explain some of them. I know I have a specific reasons why they might be good advice, but there's parts of it that I just think are bad. So we'll have to see how, who we are, how much we overlap. I still I'm going with two I'm thinking at least do have ours. We'll have a laugh, but we'll see.
Autumn (14m 56s):
Okay. I will guess one day. Yeah.
Jesper (15m 2s):
We'll both be wrong. Don't worry. All right. Do you want to start? Yeah,
Autumn (15m 7s):
But yeah. Yeah, but I actually, yeah, I will. But I was also thinking that maybe at the end of it, maybe we should try. So at the end of it, we've heard all 10. Maybe some of them overlapping, I don't know, but maybe we should then try to agree on one that we like from our combined list of 10 items can jointly agree on this is the one we hate the most.
Jesper (15m 32s):
Okay. That'd be fine. And just to be sure, I actually wrote down my favorite piece of advice if we have to end on a better note and instead I'm really bad advice. Oh that's good. Yes. That, that would be a fun one. All right. So we might have to end on a favorite advice note. So there are, there are definitely some things not to ignore.
Autumn (15m 54s):
Right. Okay. Good, good, good. Yes. I was not being positive in my preparation. It didn't at all. So I only have negative ones. Yeah.
Jesper (16m 1s):
You'll have to think of a goal you will have. Do you have, I'm probably about 15, 20 minutes to come up with one piece of positive Advice I ah, now I should have warned you.
Autumn (16m 16s):
Where would the fund be in that? It's a much monitors, so much fun. It's more fun to see him. Yeah. Are you squirm and, and scrape for, to try to find something? Yeah, that's right.
Jesper (16m 25s):
You'll be doing some quick Googling while M I'm giving my,
Autumn (16m 30s):
My bed and then, or I'll let you go first and then I'll agree with you.
Jesper (16m 36s):
Oh, that's not fair, but you could probably do that.
Autumn (16m 42s):
Okay. So you wanna hear my number? Fine. Yeah.
Jesper (16m 45s):
Let's I want to hear your number five. Okay. So yeah.
Autumn (16m 49s):
Number five is read everything. You can get your hands on. Read a lot.
Jesper (16m 55s):
Oh, that's a good one.
Autumn (16m 58s):
Yeah. But you know, I do agree. That is good to read and you will become a better rider from reading a lot. I do agree with that, but I also believe that it matters what you're reading. I mean, why would you read a romance novel when you want to write Fantasy all right. I mean, but yeah, the, okay. The smarty pants out there will then say, well, it we'll broaden your horizon and then you will learn new things. Yeah.
Jesper (17m 27s):
Blah, blah, blah, blah. Good respect romance subplots. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,
Autumn (17m 32s):
Exactly. And, but honestly I couldn't care less. I want to read what I enjoy reading and then of course you could also say, well then you become very biased to the trucks and so on. So we'll see.
Jesper (17m 46s):
Can you explain it? I don't take so, you know, I'm probably a very fine
Autumn (17m 50s):
Tuned understanding of the <inaudible>. That's what I good. And what, I don't see the harm of that. And no one said either that I should go off to copy exactly what I've read either. So I still have to be creative with the stories that I'm going to tell, but that advice that I can only develop as a rider, as a writer or if I read outside my own <inaudible> I just don't do agree with that. Advice I mean, terrible, terrible. Advice
Jesper (18m 17s):
Right. I agree with you. I did not list this one, but I nearly did. And its basically for me what you said, but also because it doesn't say read good books are, you know, I guess I think that even if you read it within your genre, maybe it doesn't hurt to occasionally read a book that you're like, Oh my goodness, I can't believe someone's self publish. This are published this or it got published because it's just so old, you know, trophy or whatever, or the writing is not stellar, but it really helps the read some really good books by the master's, you know, read Some Neil Gaiman is something really, something really gripping so that you learn from the experts.
Jesper (18m 58s):
So I don't think I've, you know, you sometimes go in and you just pick up something on Amazon and because do you wanna read it? And it's just like, Whoa, don't just read this. You've got to feed yourself. So you've got to eat the salads, you know, you've got to use the healthy stuff. Don't just eat the sugar. So I definitely agree with you in it. If we had made a list of six, it, this one would have been on mine, but I didn't do it. So, so far we're not overlapping. So yeah, when I know what my number five is, I do, right?
Jesper (19m 27s):
My leased of the worst. I don't know if right. What inspires you that vice gets under my skin and in some ways, I mean, I agree with it. Definitely. If you should love, absolutely loved the story you were writing. It should fire you up. It should be, I mean, perfectly, it should be the book that you searched for your whole life and you've just really want to read it. But I think too many people misconstrue this one to me that they should only write one inspired or that when the story starts to bog down because you know, you know, when you're writing 80 a hundred thousand words or has a series, you know, a 300 to 400,000 words, it's going to bog down and then they switched to a new project that inspires the more and that doesn't work if you're going to actually, you know, right.
Jesper (20m 17s):
I think Writing, you know, maybe it should inspire you, but the Advice is not specific enough and eventually writing as not going to inspire you. And you just could have to sit your butt down and write it or you're never going to finish this book. So that's why they Advice drives me crazy. Right.
Autumn (20m 35s):
Yeah. I was just about to add a well, a variation of that one activity to my list, but I didn't, but a, but I could just add that one here. I guess my number six, if I had, because the variation that was about to add was the write. What do you know? Advice, I hate that. That's what we do. I have to ride what I know I am coming up with a fictional stories. You are. I mean, and I don't know how magic work in real life either.
Autumn (21m 5s):
So how can I
Jesper (21m 6s):
Exactly, I will say nothing more on that one. I have no comment. Okay. Fair enough. Okay. So you want none before I went number four? Yeah.
Autumn (21m 19s):
Okay. My number four is actually won that we sort of touched upon in the more recent Episode 91 of the Podcast here. Oh really? Oh yeah. Because we talked about daily word count in that episode.
Jesper (21m 33s):
Right? So let me get that right every day. Yeah.
Autumn (21m 38s):
It is basically the Advice that I hate when, when I hear or if you want to be a rider, you have to write every day. I mean, what the beep I think we explained the detail in our different viewpoints in, in Episode 91. So I'm not going to go into all of that again here, but this Advice did it make it onto my list, nevertheless, because I think it is extremely counterproductive to tell someone that they have to right. Every single day. Now you don't know.
Autumn (22m 9s):
Yeah. I mean, like I said, in episode 91, I think you should be making progress most days of the week, at least this could also be plotting or planning the story. It doesn't have to be actual Writing or maybe you are doing a bit of work on, on your author business. I mean, of course you have to be mindful that you aren't using something like world-building as a procrastination Tune I know what it is so tempting. I know. I know know, but you don't want to get stressed out by the fact that you have to write everyday, but of course you, you can come up with excuses for yourself not to right.
Autumn (22m 45s):
Either. So, you know, make progress, work on your novel or your author business, but yeah, don't leave. Let them take over your life. I think that's what we said in episode nine. Do you want as well? Oh yeah.
Jesper (22m 56s):
Can we, did we, you said, you know, you have to have some balance and know that you have, you know, a life and family and other things other than writing, especially when you are trying to balance Writing with a career or, and a family and you have some time that you set it aside to being an author, whether its plotting or researching or something, but yeah, a big shot of the story is progressing in some form in your life, but it might not always be writing every single day. I have to agree with you, right.
Autumn (23m 25s):
If this one is on your list as well then yeah.
Jesper (23m 28s):
Oh actually it's not. So you wanna know my number of four of them.
Autumn (23m 33s):
Jesper (23m 35s):
Well, it's what you had just said. Write what you know, so it does, it's not a true overlap because that was the number six. But yeah, I basically said same thing. I mean, this is what we write as Fantasy. So how can, you know, what it feels like to be a dragon or a weasel or an El For how you know, how to use magic or B a vampire. So I think the fact that we use our imaginations and the fact we don't limit ourselves to what we know allows us to create amazing ideas and stories. And I think our genre is, is often considered like escape Fantasy I do you know, it's basically we want there's something in this world that is bothering us or troubling us.
Jesper (24m 14s):
And so we write about other worlds and other possibilities and that's sorta what a lot of readers or looking for. I mean, there is also now urban fantasy that as a huge chunk of the market, but it still a different version of this reality. It might be set in modern times are the city. I just watched this show that was set in modern times with the parallel universe. So it's, its still a different version of what we have and if we didn't expand our minds and do the things we don't no, but would like to see happen and ask those questions.
Jesper (24m 45s):
Those things wouldn't exist. So whenever someone tells me, write what you know, and I'm like, well I know I don't like I've got to something else.
Autumn (24m 55s):
No, I don't like what you just said. No, but I would even say if we look beyond Fantasy, you know, if you were writing, I don't know, lets say a romance or a thriller or whatever. I still don't understand the Advice of right. What do you know? So why is it that you can only So okay. If, well, I think at least last time I checked I'm a male. Yeah.
Jesper (25m 24s):
So why can I,
Autumn (25m 26s):
Why could I not write female characters for example? Or why could a woman not ride a male character? Its why do you have to box yourself into, this is the kind of things that I know about. So that's what I need two, right? Yeah. Why I I just don't get it right.
Jesper (25m 42s):
Aye. A hundred percent agree. And I think, I mean, I think I heard this advice even all the way back in high school and even then I'm just like, but if I were stuck to what I know, which is what lived growing up in small, rural Christian, Pennsylvania I'm bored or I don't, I don't want to box myself into this. I want so much more, you know, I want Hogwarts. So yeah. I know. I think its just really bad advice. So if anyone ever tells you that, just look at them and be like, I'm so sorry for you, then move on.
Autumn (26m 17s):
Yeah. And I would even say to the listener, you know, if, if you, if you want the stand, what this is, why this Advice is about it. And if you sort of understand the arguments about why its important, then please let us know, you know, comment on something. Because I know I would like to understand what the behind the line logic is of this advice because I just don't get it. And maybe I'm just thick and that's fine. But then please explain it to me so I could get it because I wanted to understand it's
Jesper (26m 44s):
Because I mean, it's not just You it's both of us. We were like, is this the ones No alright, so can you, this is your number three.
Autumn (26m 54s):
Well, I actually saw George RR Martin giving this advice on his website. I don't know if it's still on this website, but I noticed it at some point and I don't like, yeah.
Jesper (27m 5s):
Oh my goodness. Something from Georgia or a Martin, you don't like he, then
Autumn (27m 11s):
I know I'm walking on thin ice. You know, this is what I like to do. Right. I always put myself in situations where I don't know what's going to come back in my face.
Jesper (27m 23s):
If you're going to hear about this one from some readers or listeners. Definitely. Yeah
Autumn (27m 27s):
P but the Advice is so he said, quote, don't start writing a novel start with a short story and quote. And I believe he also went on to state that if you start out trying to write a novel or a series, it is like wanting to climb Mount Everest from day one. And I honestly don't feel that this is Advice is helpful to at all.
Jesper (27m 52s):
Autumn (27m 54s):
If one wants to write short stories than by all means. That's great. But why in the world, should you force yourself to write a source store? If you don't want too, if you find enjoyment from a short story is you probably don't even read short stories. I would guess then why would you do so I don't get it.
Jesper (28m 12s):
It honestly, because I do you think you and I both started with novel's we just dove head online. I mean, I started with a trilogy. That's not even published in the sitting in some boldly drawers somewhere. Yeah. But you know, when I did switch to short stories, you know, I can whip off 120,000 words, not a problem, but to do 10,000. Oh that's hard. That's really hard. I mean, some people were a marathon. Runner's some people are our sprinters. If you are a marathon, what are under your not going to be a good sprinter.
Jesper (28m 43s):
So don't beat yourself up for not being a sprinter. If you are designed to right. 500,000 words, go for it. It at the end, is it
Autumn (28m 52s):
Day you should write something that you are excited about writing and as well, I think I would say that writing a short story is not exactly the same thing as Writing a full length novel, like you were saying a marathon versus a sprinting. They are right? Yeah. I mean Sure a lot of the same knowledge and skills that you will learn from writing short stories. You can transfer all when to a novel Writing but it's still not exactly the same thing. I know. I mean, it's, it's, it's so stupid. It's like you don't stop writing a romance novel to learn how to write a fences.
Autumn (29m 24s):
You know what I mean?
Jesper (29m 24s):
Who makes no sense? What would you do that that's very true. It's you should. Yeah. I mean, I remember feeling overwhelmed. I started my first book and I realized that I wanted to make it a trilogy. I'm thinking, Oh my goodness should really be starting off as a trilogy. It turned out fine. It fine, challenged yourself. If you, what you want to write is a trilogy. Make that your goal do it. It doesn't matter if you're a newbie or you know, you have written 20 books. Go for it.
Autumn (29m 53s):
Yeah, I did too. The same thing, I started out with a trilogy and of course I had to rewrite book one like three times, but yeah,
Jesper (29m 59s):
But you know, we got there. Yeah.
Autumn (30m 1s):
But, but who cares? I mean, that's what I wanted to ride. And that was what I was excited about. And if you're not excited about it, you're not gonna keep up the momentum and the drive to get through it all because there's a lot of work. And you only realize that once you start writing and I know our listeners know all of this already. Right. But if, if you think, think that, okay. Do you also are Martin said that I should write 25 short stories before they do anything else?
Jesper (30m 25s):
No. You're gonna kill yourself. Even before you get to the stuff you wanted to ride. Yeah. I would be so boring. I've been tortured. These are interesting, but they are not my cup of tea. I mean, I'd rather write a novel. I'd rather right. A trilogy. Yeah.
Autumn (30m 40s):
So that, wasn't a, my number three,
Jesper (30m 42s):
A that's a good one. That one wasn't on my list. So, so far,
Autumn (30m 46s):
Thank you so far. I'm closer to be right at that. The only one.
Jesper (30m 49s):
Oh, you know, let's see. Okay. So my number three is to get an idea of what dialogue sounds like, listen to conversations around you. I just, I hate that piece of advice. My I every time I hear and I'm like, just no, just don't listen to this. Advice because you don't have ever listened to people around you. They make no sense when they talk. They are referring to things you have no clue about. There are usually like, you know, short catchphrases and filler words and tons of filler words and wandering pointless conversations.
Jesper (31m 25s):
And that's not dialog in a novel. And so don't do that. Every word in your novel should have her purpose is a special dialogue. It's in his writing. It's not a chat with your BFF. So, you know, don't listen to this. Advice if you want to learn to write dialogue, read some really good dialog has to go back to read. Greek plays like plays, have fantastic dialogue. Read those. Don't listen to people at a cafe. They, they are not going to teach you anything about dialogue except maybe what not to do.
Autumn (31m 56s):
Yeah. I think probably the only thing I would say you could pick up there is maybe not dialogue input, but more like the different way people speak. You could tell, you could get a bit of inspiration for different kinds of voices. And so that part may be helpful. But other, I would also say that it's a ton more helpfully. If you just made a list of your characters and then you sort of said, okay, how do this person reacts when they are, when they are stressed out, when they're happy, when they are angry and, and you just write down, how do they react?
Autumn (32m 31s):
And then making sure you have something different than all the boxes, that's a hundred times more helpful in terms of building very, a dialogue and, and having a character sound different from one another versus the listening to people in the cafe.
Jesper (32m 48s):
All right. So I don't have, that was on my list. I'm on my goodness. Oh and less. We have the next two. I am totally wrong. Oh, all right. Well that's to say, so what is your number to,
Autumn (33m 1s):
Yeah. And I don't think you have this one on your list. Autumn either of, you probably didn't expect it either.
Jesper (33m 8s):
Oh, this is good. This has gotta be a good one then, right?
Autumn (33m 11s):
Yeah. Yeah. So we're getting into the top two spots now. So we have to increase the seriousness, the items on the, yeah.
Jesper (33m 21s):
I should've brought the music along. We have a little tension music playing. Yeah.
Autumn (33m 23s):
Sorry. I guess we should have a, like a drum world. It is show don't tell them that they expect that. Huh?
Jesper (33m 32s):
Nope. Nope. Did not expect that one at, Oh, darn it. Now
Autumn (33m 37s):
At, I mean, when you show us, instead of telling it does make for a much more engaging and immersive reading experience for Sure right. So I'm fully on board with that and I'm, I'm not contradicting at all that show instead of Tel is important. And it is from that point of view. Good advice. But yet it is not good advice, I guess that requires some. Yeah.
Jesper (34m 0s):
Yeah. If you want to hear your explanation on this one.
Autumn (34m 4s):
Yeah. Well, the thing is that this Advice is thrown around so often that you can almost get obsessed about how to perfectly show rather than tell. And there is just no such thing as the perfect rider No and there are also times in the novel way. This is actually okay. Tell me you don't have to show all the time. And I think above all, don't get obsessed about how to do it correctly.
Autumn (34m 36s):
You know, I think especially this one Advice show, don't tell that's one of those things that you put on your list of things that you want to improve over time, because it is not something that you are going to grasp or internalize very quickly. I don't know. I just feel like this particular piece of writing advice often becomes a stumbling block. And because you're start obsessing about how important it is, because it is important in the sense, like I said before, right?
Autumn (35m 10s):
It does bring forth more engaging and immersive reading experiences. So it is extremely important. But if you get too obsessed about it, especially in the beginning, you are going to end up in a 200 edits, have your manuscript's and your not gonna get anywhere. Right. And I am sure that this happens all the time. And for that reason, I had to put it on the list even though in, in that is good
Jesper (35m 38s):
Advice right now, I won't disagree with you. And I have nothing more to say on it right now, so, Oh yeah. That's fine. So do you want to know my number to, yes. Alright. So my number two is just right, which is sort of like the one you had mentioned before, right? Every day, if it's a little different and I won't say I hate it a hundred percent just that you need to grow out of it quickly. Cause you and I are both plotters and I think at a minimum, even pantsers coz I mean, I know I started as a pantser and I still have a little bit of pants or a tendency I've been more of a hybrid.
Jesper (36m 15s):
You should take a look at story structure and make very quick outline of your goals, your themes, your characters, your seven stages or a plot development. And if you'd just write just vomit, word's onto a page, or you can end up with such a mess and that, and you don't even know if its editing or its not a good story telling and you don't know Y and that can be just as frustrating as not Writing. So that's where I have just write. I just think its, you know, if he's the only way you could get into Writing and you have something driving you and you want to right, but then you need to learn to develop your story structure.
Jesper (36m 51s):
You need to learn to deploy. You need to learn to develop the format of what makes a great story. And you're not going to get that. If you just spend your time writing and word vomiting. Oh word vomiting. No okay. Fair enough. Okay. So are we, are we down to number one? Oh geeze. All right. I'm ready. And what is your number one?
Autumn (37m 18s):
I have to say that it wasn't easy to figure out which one should be born the first place spot in this bat list of things.
Jesper (37m 25s):
How was he in? That were different. I knew that was the first one I wrote down. Okay. This is my number one pet peeve. So right now,
Autumn (37m 33s):
Right. I felt like I had to really think about it because it didn't only have to be a common Writing Advice that? I hate it also had to be one that I hated more than all of the other.
Jesper (37m 43s):
Yes. So yeah, this was fun.
Autumn (37m 47s):
Sort of gone. And I got hung up on this one when I first started out writing. Oh, because you basically hear it everywhere. Okay. I think it's like all, most the Holy grail of coming Writing Advice <inaudible> because it claims to fix your writing and make everything wonderful.
Jesper (38m 5s):
Oh, I have to hear this one. What is this? Yeah.
Autumn (38m 12s):
I'm talking about the Advice to remove all your Advice.
Jesper (38m 16s):
Oh, that one. I ignored that one so fast that I don't even think it exists.
Autumn (38m 23s):
All right. Well that's good. Good on you then, because I think that good writers do you use at verbs? And I honestly believe that they do have a place as well. I mean, of course it has to be done moderation and you do need to be careful not overusing the adverbs, but as long as you can find a way to walk that line, you know, please don't do what I did. And when I first started out with my first manuscript, you know, I have come across this Advice so I did a search in my manuscript once I was done and basically start searching for adverbs with the aim to change them all to something else.
Autumn (39m 3s):
And it is really not a very productive use of your time. And its, it's not like you are writing will get elevated to a godlike state is afterward.
Jesper (39m 15s):
But in fact you might lose something by doing that. Yeah.
Autumn (39m 18s):
Yes. So yeah, I think I would just wanna say, you know, cut yourself some Slack. Okay. You know, don't, don't get too hung up on this stuff here and I dunno just because it, it gave me such a headache when I first started out. So that's what I put on. Number one. Yeah.
Jesper (39m 36s):
Yeah. You know how I got over that one? Because I hear that one too. I was taking a novel writing class as an adult education class after work. And it was one of the first things they told me was, but then there was someone else who was doing their manuscript. They are reading and they have used an advert that I had used had gotten torn apart four and there were praised for it, but I kind of set what the bleep I went home and this was a mixed class So I and I was one of the few Fantasy writers.
Jesper (40m 8s):
They are almost everyone else was doing memoirs. And so I pulled out a whole, my favorite Fantasy right. So there is a lot of kilos when I think I even had George RR Martin because of the game of Thrones, the first book has been out that long. So I had that one on my shelf. I had Mercedes Lackey, all of them and I photocopied a full chapter and I went through and I highlighted all of the advertar and adverbs. I underlined all the adjectives and then I calculated the average per page. And I said, screw you all are, the average was three to five per page.
Jesper (40m 39s):
I'm doing to just do that. And you can just take your advice and shove it. So that's why that Advice doesn't bother me anymore for one,
Autumn (40m 48s):
I think good on you. And secondly, that it was so much smarter than what I did.
Jesper (40m 55s):
Right? I mean, when you get me riled asked my husband, actually, you don't ask him. You don't want, when you don't want those stories, public's never asked him, but all right. But yeah, that one did really drive me crazy, but it's been so long and I kind of literally torched it in my brain, but I think I talked to actually forgotten that one and I have to admit if I went back, I probably would add to my list. If I had seven, my seventh, one way, way back would have been to always use said as a dialogue tag, I hate that.
Jesper (41m 28s):
Right. Especially for FANTASY WRITING it's just, it doesn't apply. We use a lot more issues. That might be it in certain genres, but it does not work in Fantasy Writing but that's not my number one. Do you want to know what my number one is? What is your number one? It show don't tell me. Oh no. Okay. But you know what I wrote? Yeah.
Autumn (41m 51s):
Then in my show, don't tell, I was sure that Autumn is not going to have this one on my list.
Jesper (41m 56s):
Well, that is my number one pet peeve. And I think it's sort of, because I just didn't, it was sort of like the Admiral thing. I just didn't quite understand it and understand what it meant. She would be like show don't tell it, show don't tell show. Don't tell him what does that mean? What does that actually mean? Fine. Give me a definition of that. And it is actually good advice. Like you said it is. It's when it's explained it's a good advice, but it's also incredibly misleading because even though it says, you know, if your character's angry, don't tell your reader's I angry.
Jesper (42m 28s):
You wanted to show that she is angry by throwing things and speaking loudly and doing actions and that in that way, it is a very good advice, like you said, but there are times, like you said, when your writing, you do tell if a character is moving across country and nothing happens, you don't tell your reader about it. You just sum it up in like two sentences. You, you, you know, when and where they were here, they got to here and the journey. Perfect. And there is a total current trend. Have I see a lot with new riders that they feel they have to show up every minute, have a character as a life that you can not tell you anything about that character.
Jesper (43m 7s):
You can't skip time. And I really don't care about learning about how someone brushes their teeth, unless it's important to the story. So there are times when you're writing, you tell and I've been doing a lot of editing recently. So I just seems like I keep coming across these painfully detailed scenes that are shown of characters, doing things. And when you finally finished the story, you're like, she just, just cut that, wrap it up.
Jesper (43m 38s):
They got ready for work. There you go. That's the whole morning routine. So yeah, that's my current pet peeve. Sorry. So we have one, which means your right. You're the one who guess we'd have one the same so that you were in this one. I dunno what you wanted, but you will do it.
Autumn (43m 57s):
I wanted the honor of being right?
Jesper (43m 59s):
Yeah, it feels good. All right. Well this one we way to feeling better, actually. I humbly valuable to you. You are correct in Episode. Now you're going to forget which one we are doing. 93. You are,
Autumn (44m 11s):
It took almost a hundred episodes before. Right?
Jesper (44m 16s):
That's pretty good. Actually one out of my control. So it's not too bad. Yeah. Yeah.
Autumn (44m 20s):
Maybe once we get close to her episode, 200 and not get another one. Right.
Jesper (44m 23s):
All right. We'll get it.
Autumn (44m 27s):
Yeah. But I guess it's well from a conclusion, point of view, I guess since the only one we both
Jesper (44m 32s):
Had on the list, then I guess that's the one we jointly hate the most in isn't it? Yes. I think so. I think that is definitely, probably are our joint a painful one. Like I said, I probably would have agreed with you in the adverbs, except that I I thoroughly kicked that one in the butt early. Yeah. That was cool. Should have done the same thing I ever did a blog post about it and shared my results because I was so angry. I should have red that one. Then you should have asked if we'd found each other's sooner or you might have been hilarious, but so do you want to know?
Jesper (45m 9s):
I actually have two pieces of writing Advice and then I have a quote. I did my homework. You should be so as well, what happened? It only took almost a hundred hours. So that's what I did homework. Umm, alright. So I actually have two pieces of favorite Advice if you wanted to hear them. Yes, please. The first one is you can edit a blank page and I do appreciate that on you. Every time I feel like my writing is going poorly or whatever is going on, I just remind myself, it doesn't matter.
Jesper (45m 42s):
I need to just write it. I need to push through whatever stumbling block I have because you can't edit something that doesn't exist. So you just need to write it and then you can go back and fix it. So that was definitely one of my heartfelt once. But one of my most absolutely favorite ones that I kept pasted on my WRITING space is paint. What, the words you leave on written because I, to me that's symbolizes the magic of Writing and the magic have reading is that were only half half of the spell and the other half as the reader.
Jesper (46m 14s):
So you have to leave room for the reader to take what you're writing and construct parts of it for themselves. And that's what makes a story magical to me. So that one is definitely my favorite piece of writing advice is to paint what, the words that you leave unwritten or an unsaid. I love that won it. Can't top that high can end with a lovely quote. That is kind of a fun summary to all of the pieces of advice that we just have given, but it would be good or bad.
Jesper (46m 45s):
OK. Yeah. And this is from Michael Moorcock. He says ignore all pro offered rules and create your own suitable for what you want to say.
Narrator (46m 57s):
Jesper (46m 58s):
All right. So next Monday we're going to discuss if there is a particular word that you need to stop starting sentences to with that almost sounded like Common Writing Advice We HATE
Narrator (47m 9s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Yesper on patrion.com/am Writing Fantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going to stay safe out there and see you next Monday.