Friday Reviews: The Kick-Ass Writer

The Kick-Ass Writer
Chuck Wendig

Science fiction writer Chuck Wendig has some things to say about writing. And he uses a lot of bad words to say them. Oh, and he seems to be obsessed with wombats. And pants. What’s the deal with pants?

That said, the most important thing he says is that almost all writing advice is just that: Advice. It’s not rules. It’s not etched in stone. It doesn’t work for everyone. But some things all writers need to pay attention to.

  • Writers write. Want to make money writing? Write some stuff. No one’s going to buy that novel you keep talking about if you never finish it.
  • Blocked? Write through it. What if you’re writing crap? That’s what revisions are all about.
  • Don’t be a jerk. Agents, editors, and other writers notice that. And you need agents, editors, other writers, and, especially, your audience, even if you go indie.
  • Social media and blogging are important. Unless you suck at one of those. Then don’t do the one you suck it. Or let it interfere with writing.
  • It’s luck, but while you can’t make luck, you can maximize it.

He also hits on grammar, spelling, character concepts, and plot structure. It’s a no-nonsense look at writing that does not try to pretend it’s holy writ. Nor is it one of those annoying lists of things editors hate. While you may need to excise the adverbs or passive voice from your prose, if you know what you’re doing, your betas, your editors – Hell, your audience will tell you when it doesn’t work.

And one other thing Chuck says: Be it indie publishing or traditional, never listen to the zealots.