Good Writing Advice For Any Day (a repost from 2010)

Every now and then (about chapter 15 of every novel) I get bogged down in the details.

Somehow I become physically unable to let any minute of my character’s life go unaccounted. I become a secret stalker documenting their every move.

FMC woke up, took three steps, found her purple slippers, walked downstairs, ate a nutritionally lean breakfast of toast and water, showered with her new soap, dressed in her tattered jeans, and walked outside….

Eek!

That’s when I pull out my list of writing rules I can’t live without:

1- Stop writing when the action stops. This is a hack of a newspaper rule. News stories aren’t meant to have flowery conclusions, and neither are chapters. Leave those characters hanging! If you’ve hit all the plot points and conflicts for the chapter, leave it and move on.

2- Know-it-alls are no fun at all! Always work from the POV of the person with the least amount of information. Unless you’re working in first person, pick the POV of the person who has the most to lose, and the worst cards going into the game. They have something to work for.

[Full Stop]