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  • Karen E. Osborne

Writing Advice from Experts & Me

"You have to have the tenacity of a weed." - Corabel Shofner,

I love the opening line of Corabel Shofner’s blog post. When people ask her how long did it take her to write her novel, she answered 64 years because her book was the result of every single day of her life. She goes on to give her actual timeline. You might find it interesting and if you are a writer, helpful.

Here's another great resource with twenty writing tips from fiction authors.

I especially like and agree with this tip. “Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear)." — Diana Athill

I also benefited from having a friend read my novel to me (I know, that is asking a lot). It changed my perceptions and made the novel stronger.

Getting It Right (Akashic Books, July 2017) came to be because of networking. I mentioned my search for an agent to every person I met. At a charity function my persistence was rewarded and an introduction was made that resulted in a contract.

My son gave me excellent advice that led to a contract for my second novel, Tangled Lies (Black Rose Writing, July 22, 2021).

"It's a numbers game." he said. "Just keep sending it out." I set my goal for 100 rejections. I promised to no quit until I reached that number. I received 78. Many were encouraging - "love your writing but this story isn't for me." The answer, however, was still, "no."

Then came number 79 and everything changed with an enthusiastic "Yes."

Some of the best advice I ever received I can’t attribute. I don’t remember where I heard it or who said, but it became my mantra, “Writers Write.”

I try not to let a day go by without writing something down, jotting notes in the notebook I carry with me everywhere, hopping on the computer and adding to, editing, starting a new piece.

When people ask me what I do, these days I don’t say, Senior Strategist of The Osborne Group or motivational speaker – all of which are true.

Instead, I say, “I’m a writer.”

And I smile.

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