Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Some Writing Advice from Tom Clancy

I recently read the 1992 version of The Writer's Digest Handbook of Novel Writing (I picked it up in a library - there is a 1998 version on Amazon, but I don't think it is the same book.) It is basically a collection of articles that had appeared within the pages of Writer's Digest back in the day. While some of the advice has definitely changed, especially when it comes to how the publishing world works, the writing advice remains valid.

I liked this passage by Tom Clancy:

The only way to write is to write. You can dream about writing, make notes, make outlines, or sketch out your characters all you want, but the book will not get written until you write it. . . Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each of which is filled with words. If you reach that point, you have won a victory over yourself no less impressive than sailing single-handed around the world. Maybe you'll get published. Maybe you won't. . . What success really means, I think, is looking failure in the face and tossing the dice anyway. You may be the only person who ever knows how the dice come up, but in that knowledge you have something that millions of people will never have - because they were afraid to try.

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