There are more than a few quotable quotes strung from one end of the internet to the other.
I imagine that at some point or another, we who make our way through the world by stringing words together, have taken a more than passing interest in these lists and ruminations. Obsessively even.
I’ve a shelf at home with several books collecting even more extensive thoughts on the matter, by the likes of King, Bradbury, Koontz, Goodkind, J.N. Williamson, and numerous others.
I’ll be honest with you… they’ve not helped me write a single word.
I am fascinated, however, by the way other writers think and what they think about the craft itself.
Not because I’m looking for insight into the hows and why fors, but for what it says and reveals about them, in a nutshell.
I know everyone’s not in the same boat on that, but more than a handful of us are.
Still, if you were to corner me and ask for the third best piece of writerly advice one could share, seeing as how the first and best bit is the charming “put-ass-in-chair” edict, with the second being to “read, and read lots”, then it would be this:
Read what you bloody write aloud.
Good writing, especially good dialogue, has rhythm. It’s natural. It flows. It’s got a sense of style and purpose and it rolls off the tongue.
It’s as simple as that.
Bob Freeman is an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer. His novel, Shadows Over Somerset, is available from Seventh Star Press in both trade paperback and digital formats.
A lifelong student of mythology, folklore, magic, and religion, Freeman has written numerous short stories, articles, and reviews for various online and print publications and is a respected lecturer on the occult and paranormal phenomena.
He lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.