Ben Schott’s Advice to New Writers

Write. You may be a good writer, a bad writer, a successful writer, or an unpublished writer – but write and you are instantly a writer.

Also, while the (Great American) novel seems to be the zenith of every writer’s aspiration, there are other ways to express ideas. As publishing (d)evolves, writers might need to evolve also.

Also also, read your work out loud. I read everything I write out loud (albeit usually just under my breath). So doing allows me to judge balance, cadence, rhythm and style – or, more often than not, the lack thereof.

Also also also, love words. Delight in words. Roll them around your tongue, and escort them gallantly onto the page. Words, like cooking ingredients, should be crisp, fresh, and of delight to the eye and tongue.

Avery Chenoweth’s Advice to new Writers

Write a story as if you’re talking to a friend in a bar about something that has to be told, quickly, before the check comes. That tends to fire the imagination to the point of finishing the arc–and, for novels, always finish the first draft before re-working the beginning. Stick to what’s urgent–and always write to the one or two people who would get it, not to the “readers” or the “market.” Just keep it simple, like telling your mother a story about why you’re home late from school–cause you had to stop and explore a deserted house and what you found inside that made you so late coming home.