Wednesday, November 19, 2008

William P. Young (Advice for Novelists, Part 80)

Next up in my Advice for Novelists series, in which I ask authors, editors, agents and publicists the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?" an author who's novel The Shack has made quite a stir in Christian publishing.

You know, it’s funny. I really don’t know what I’m doing, but I have two pieces of advice. One is: disconnect your identity from what you produce, and that’s a hard thing for us because we think of our significance, worth and value based on what we do instead of who we are. I’m finding with people who write that a lot of times to say anything about what they write is to say something about them. Because there own sense of worth and value is locked into words. For me to have written a story for my kids, I’m so glad that I disconnected like that. Second, when you get a chance, send your writing to people who don’t know you and see what their response is. We had a collaborative process in working through The Shack that really made it so much more beautiful. I appreciated that. Right there is all the depth of my knowledge about writing. (Chuckles.) And maybe the purpose of your writing is just for you. That’s a legitimate purpose.

--William P. Young, author of The Shack. Visit him online at his website.

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