10 tips from the pros from Dover

How many of you get the allusion "pros from Dover?"

I've been reading through some old notes in my zeal (yeah, right!) to finish cleaning out my files.

Here's advice - some good, some droll - in the form of often quoted remarks from the pros:

1. You must write. You must finish what you write. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order. You must put it on the market until sold. (Robert A. Heinlein)

2. I try to leave out the parts that people skip. (Elmore Leonard)

3. When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns. (Raymond Chandler)

4. Never let a domestic quarrel ruin a day’s writing. If you can’t start the next day fresh, get rid of your wife. (Mario Puzo)

5. The difference between using the right word and the one that is almost right is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. (Mark Twain)

6. Never mistake emotion for action. (Ernest Hemingway)

7. Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft. (Stephen King)

8. If you wish to be a writer, write. (Epicetus)

9. Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprenctice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window. (William Faulkner)

10. There’s no such thing as a born writer. It’s a skill you’ve got to learn, just like learning how to be a bricklayer or a carpenter. You’ve got to write X number of words before you can write anything that can be published, but nobody is able to tell you how many words that is. You will know when you get there, but you don’t know how long it will take. (Larry Brown)

So now you know. Go forth and write.

Sling Words out.

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