Ignore The Advice!

2 Jun

“Ignore the advice? What sort of crazy suggestion is that?” you ask – after all, you’re here, reading an article categorised under ‘writing tips’, looking for advice and I’m telling to ignore what I say… madness!

Well, of course, I don’t mean ignore all advice ever; there are plenty of great suggestions out there that you can use to improve your writing. What I mean is – don’t apply advice slavishly.

Now, some advice will work for you and make your writing better, but some won’t. Experiment by all means and discover what does or doesn’t work for you, but don’t accept claims that something is ‘the one true way’ without looking further. Some advice is bad and much is subjective, varying in effectiveness not only between writers but depending upon what you are attempting to achieve – even the purplest of prose can have a place when the decision to include it is a deliberate one.

The best way to create great writing is to know what you are wanting to achieve. That may not be immediately obvious and you might have to go back and change things around when you find you have started off incorrectly, and sometimes you just want to play around with an idea until it clicks, but having an idea of what you are aiming at, even if it is just a gut feeling that something is right, is an important one – even if the reasoning behind your decision is an unconscious feeling, the decision to stick with it is a conscious one.

As long as what you are doing works – and that, ultimately is for you decide, even if you measure ‘what works’ in response to reader feedback or the demands of an agent or publisher – then it is the right thing and you should run with it, even if all the advice articles claim that what you are doing breaks the rules for successful writing!


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