Writing advice is something that comes at every stage of the process. Some you ask for, some you reach out for, and some you have to dodge. Is there a trick to knowing what to take and what to ignore?
Writing advice the stages
When you first let people know you want to write a book, they will provide you with all the advice they think you need.
When you write the first draft, you’ll ask for writing advice and maybe you’ll get some you like and some you’ll hate. And some of the stuff you hate will be the most valuable.
When you submit your work to an agent, or when you self publish. You’ll get a lot of advice on how to make your story better. Maybe not too late to change it.
How do you know what to listen to?
For me I think there are some guidelines and they are different for writing advice at different stages.
The first stage, when you are thinking of writing a book, I suggest you listen to all the advice you get from writers. They’ve been down the road you want to travel. Try out a few things and see what works for you.
The second stage, where you are getting writing advice you’ve sought out, I suggest you take it all in and let it sink in. There will be advice that you don’t like but will make you a better writer. Think about what you are hearing. Think about what you want your story to be. Then make the changes that work for your book.
The third stage comes in two versions. If you are submitting your book to publishers or agents, you will get advice on making your book more marketable. When you get a deal, you are selling the rights to sell the book, not write it. The editor assigned to you will work with you to improve your book, it’s a partnership at this point.
The second version is the self published route. Once you’ve put the book out there, you might get some advice on tightening it up. I think you need to take that advice into your next book. Changing a book that is already published is easy to do, but you are breaking the deal you made with the people who have already purchased the book.