Before #nanowrimo, thoughts on writing from Neil Gaiman.
#3 is definitely the hardest for me as a writer, as evidenced by my pile of WIPs.
#5 was the hardest to learn as a beta reader, though. (In spite of having heard that quote before.) But invariably, I’ve learned that if I just tell Cherie where something feels off to me and quit telling her how I would fix it, she’ll come up with a solution that’s about 100 times more awesome than anything I would have thought of.
At a Jim Butcher book signing one time, someone asked him if he and his wife Shannon Butcher ever helped each other with their writing. He said no, not really, but sometimes if they were really stuck, one of them might run their problem by the other one and get their input. The funny thing was that neither one ever took the other’s advice. He said that wasn’t the point. Hearing what the other person said was enough for them to go, “No, that’s not it at all, and here’s why…” and get themself unstuck.
As for my ideas being 100 times more awesome than what Aphreal comes up with, that’s obviously a lie. But probably my ideas fit better in my stories just because they both came from my brain. Which is the same as when I give Aphreal suggestions and she comes back with something much better that’s exactly right for her story.
Likewise, #3 seems to be my biggest challenge right now.
This is awesome advice.