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This is where I talk about all things writing!

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I'm often asked about my best advice for new writers, and it always seems to let people down when I say, "Write what you love and forget everything else."

But here's the thing: That matters. Like, a lot.
I have witnessed the importance of this advice not only as an author, but also as an editor. It's quite possible to write a plot that follows story structure perfectly, to create a full cast of    
characters that are idiosyncratic and deeply considered, and a well-built world with regions, aesthetics, religions, and languages you've put your sweat, blood, and tears into — only for that story fall flat on its face. I think that as writers, this very outcome is one of our biggest fears. And it should be. But instead of over-analyzing craft, literary devices, and purple prose, ask yourself, "Why am I writing this story?"
Trust me, okay? Put down John Truby's work, forget the MSWLs of literary agents, eject predicted trends in publishing from your clouded thoughts, and be completely honest with yourself. Why are you writing this story? Because if there is one thing about writing that CAN'T BE TAUGHT, it's how to give your story a heart.
 
You can learn how to put together a skeleton, cobbling every bone in the right place. You can follow all the rules of craft and plot and story structure and character — but that's just building the structure, and the structure is nothing without purpose. The heart cannot be created through thought or education. It can only be felt.
 
This frightens writers, but it really shouldn't.
 
The best and only way to accomplish this is by writing something you truly fucking love. A story you can't shake off, or spend a day without. A story that feels more real than reality. Follow those feelings. Chase that muse. It'll lead you to the heart of your story, which is less created and more discovered, buried in the depths of yourself — it's the very thing that makes this story yours to tell, that would make it impossible for others to copy. 
So, writers, that is my advice: Never write a story unless there's a heart buried deep into the folds of it. And trust me, when you've found its heart, you'll know. You'll know. 
— AV 
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© 2020 by Anna Vera