“The trick — and it’s imperfect and can take a while, but — is simply to write something else.  Don’t let your hands go cold.  Don’t let yourself stop thinking.  Shift to something different.  I think it was Robert Silverberg who used to do his (type)written correspondence on bad days, and then “trick” himself into writing by slipping manuscript paper into the machine once his fingers were flying…”

Click the title for a link to the rest of the piece

I was about to post this myself, when I saw that Kadrey had beaten me to it. 

An idea is not a series, and jokes are not characters […] A story is only a story if (a) it’s about someone (singular or plural) who wants something and (b) something’s in hi (or their) way. And it’s a story worth telling only if (c) the reader has reasons to care about (a) and (b).
Mark Waid, on the creation of INSUFFERABLE (and also giving some print-this-out-and-hang-it-on-the-wall-where-you-work advice for writers.)

For all the people who ask me for writing advice…


Neil Gaiman

1 Write.

2 Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

3 Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

4 Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.

Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

6 Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

7 Laugh at your own jokes.

8 The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

Read the whole article. It’s filled with great advice from wonderful writers…