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Anne R. Allen's Blog

...WITH RUTH HARRIS

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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."


Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Friday, November 6, 2009

Writing Rule Number One: listen to your own voice

Great post by Holly Root at the Waxman Agency blog today. http://waxmanagency.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/with-a-boulder-of-salt/#comment-266
She says we shouldn't let all the persnickity advice about query letters terrify us out of submitting. Here’s a quote:

“Never, ever let any of the voices on the internet, no matter how helpful or authoritative they aim (or claim) to be, take away from your ability to hear your own unique authorial voice.”

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7 Comments:

Blogger Portuguese cunt said...

I think it's best not to listen to anyone except your editor. Family and friends only do one of two things:

a) Give glowing praise, even if it is undeserved or

b) Try to crush your dreams at every turn. Then, when you make it, they ask you for money.

That's been my experience, anyway.

November 6, 2009 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger annerallen said...

Amazing how many dream-crushers are out there, isn't it? Often in unexpected places. I suppose a lot of crushers are wannabes--terrified to bare their own souls, and angry and envious of those who try. But the ones who gush praise at every word are no help either--like the teacher who gives every kid in the class a gold star.

I'm lucky to have spectacular critique group, made up of seasoned professional writers who are kind but honest with each other. But so many groups are all about competiton, and dogma. Lots of dogma. Which Holly Root says in the post above is often a bunch of hooey.

November 6, 2009 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Recessionista Genie said...

Good advice. I find it extremely helpful to find a supportive community of fellow writers. I joined a monthly writing group near my home where we can share pieces of writing and ask for specific types of feedback: emotional response, advice, encouragement, etc., and the group will give the writer exactly what he/she solicits. Nobody feels pressured to kiss undeserved ass, yet the writers are not out to discourage each other either.

I also joined NaNoWriMo this month, which is a different kind of support--just moral support for the joy of writing. It's good to find both genuine encouragement just for undertaking the process of writing, and then also an honest source of critique and advice. Unfortunately, as PC says, family and friends generally aren't able to fulfill those roles. I find it easier to seek out other writers, amateur and professional, who are able to see your writing and voice separate from their view and feelings about you as a person.

November 7, 2009 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger annerallen said...

There's some great advice on critique groups at YA writer Natalie Whipple's blog today http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/2009/11/get-thee-to-crit-group.html

November 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Diana Paz said...

So true :)

November 7, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger GhostFolk.com said...

Anne, Anne, Anne! This is off-topic, but I had to send you a message. Your recent post at Nathan Bransford's blog was so perfectly insightful that it almost made me cry.

To be a good fiction writer, you need to be a good LISTENER. I'm not sure if that can be taught.

Thank you.

November 9, 2009 at 4:46 AM  
Blogger annerallen said...

Thank YOU, GhostFolk. You made my day!

November 9, 2009 at 1:33 PM  

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