Thursday, January 28, 2010

James Pence (Advice for Novelists, Part 111)

Here's another post in my Advice for Novelists series in which editors, authors, agents and publicists answer the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Learn your craft. The overwhelming weakness of most fiction manuscripts I see is that the writer hasn't taken time to learn the craft of writing fiction.

When I decided I wanted to write novels I began reading books on the craft of fiction. I've lost count of how many books I read. I read and studied novels. I marked them up like you would mark your Bible. I took notes. I listened to audio books. I did everything I could to help me learn the art of writing fiction. So take time to learn your craft. From the time I started studying fiction to the time my first novel was published was close to 12 years. I'm not saying you should take that long, but don't rush things either.

--James Pence, author of Terror by Night (w/ Terry Caffey), Blind Sight, and more. Visit his website.


Karen Lange said...

Good advice, thanks for sharing it!

Rachel said...

Thanks. I always love these posts. C.J, I can't wait to read your book. I read the first chapter online. How did you know how to describe 'buzzed' driving so a sweet homeschooled highschooler! :) (Just shows how good you are).

C.J. Darlington said...

Karen... glad you like the posts! Thanks for your feedback.

Rachel... Ha ha. Well, luckily it does not come from personal experience! I did do a lot of research on that. :)

Koala Bear Writer said...

Very good advice. I do find that the more I write, the more attention I pay to the books I'm reading and how they are written. Lots to learn!

Rachel said...

Hey C.J.--I just ordered Thicker Than Blood on Amazon. :) yay!

Sharon Ball said...

This is great advice, James, and the learning never stops. Great series, C. J.!