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August 2018: Writing Advice
~ Ann Everett ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: What is the one piece of writing advice that has stuck with you and why? (Something other than ‘write what you know.’)

Ann Everett said:
Write to Please Yourself

Early in my writing career, I was fortunate to make an author friend who had been published by a big house, a small press, and indie. She had a lot of welcome advice, but one of the best things she taught me was to not worry about following all the rules.

As writers, we should strive for good grammar and perfect punctuation, but the most important thing is to establish our voice and stick with it. Don’t fall into the trap of taking every bit of advice you get simply because someone has more experience.

If your characters don’t use big, fancy words, then don’t add them just because a critique partner or editor suggests you do. Don’t think you have to write in complete sentences. We don’t talk that way, so why write that way… unless you’re writing an English paper.

My first published book, Laid Out and Candle Lit, is set in small town Texas, and originally published by a small press located in New Hampshire. In the book, a local deputy remarks, “I could watch her leave all day.” My editor suggested I change that to something like…seeing her leave excites me.

What? My character would never say something like that! Sometimes we just have to stand our ground and defend what we know to be right for the story. Even when we go against an editor.

And, we should. That’s what makes a story different. My friend’s advice was to consider all the critique offered, but in the end, write to please yourself. It’s your story. No one knows your characters better than you.


Laid Out and Candle Lit by Ann Everett cover

Laid Out and Candle Lit (Book one in the Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy)

[Contemporary Romance Mystery]

Tizzy Donovan is having a run of bad luck. A bakery delivery gone wrong. A bar fight with an old classmate. The discovery of a dead body in the cemetery.

Texas Ranger Ridge Cooper’s luck isn’t much better. He’s finally gotten his first solo case, and it’s in the Podunk town of Brownsboro, Texas. But when he meets local beauty, Tizzy, he thinks his luck is about to change, until she becomes the prime suspect in his case!

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