On the Futility of Writing Advice

Just wanted to take a minute to plug a neat article, Stop giving a damn what Stephen King (or any writer) tells you about writing, by (my friend) Kamal Kamyab. He goes into depth on why most advice is probably useless to you, and points out some really good reasons why it can be considerably worse than useless.  Here’s a little taste:

My concern is that, for the rest of us, these myriad writing rules might help raise the lowest standards but will also risk homogenising the output of course graduates. What’s the point in learning a uniform approach to writing if you have to unlearn it just to uncover your voice. This is why the only useful, practical advice about what to write is honest, no-BS stuff like, “Write in popular genres or change your name to be misleading.” It’s not facetious; it’s true. That’s if you want to be discovered and successful. Otherwise, the only advice is:


It’s well thought out, packed with useful links, and refers to such luminaries as Hugh Howey, Judy Blume, and… ahem yours truly.

What are you waiting for?  It’s Friday.  Just click and go read already. 😉



Filed under Writing

2 responses to “On the Futility of Writing Advice

  1. I tried to comment earlier and pressed some buttons that I shouldn’t have and so I’m back…

    Anyway, I recall beginning by thanking you for your recommendation and kind words (however, I still refuse to pay you). I then explained that it was very easy for me to recommend your excellent passive voice article because it was excellent. I mean, even Hugh Howey agrees! I think I finished with a message from a friend of mine that is deep into the Biotech Legacy series – it’s brilliant apparently. Accordingly, Stars Rain Down has randomly jumped up my reading list. Not sure how, but I’m not complaining.

    Thanks again, Chris. As semi-usual, I’ll finish with some nonsense: Salty bear ears.


    • The buttons you pressed couldn’t have been that bad. Nothing exploded. Yet.

      Of course, you’re absolutely welcome for the kind words, sir (you earned them), and the invoice will be forthcoming. I tacked on a few surplus charges for silly things like adjectives, but also gave you a 10% discount for being such a swell chap.

      Seriously, though… just glad to help boost your signal (perhaps ten or so days late). Please pass along a smile and thumbs-up to your friend, as their taste is clearly exemplary. Also, I apologize for my book’s jumping behavior. It’s been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome and the doctor instructed it to get up and jump every so often.

      Take care, and I’ll leave you with this: Elementary funk particle.


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