The internet is known for having endless amounts of information on nearly everything, and, when it comes to writing, not all of it is completely useless. If there’s a downside to it then it’s the amount of info it possesses when it comes to advice on writing. Still, it’s not only the extent of it that can make it difficult to search.
What I find most irritating is not having the certainty that what I have stumbled across is the best advice out there, and that’s where my beef with the internet lies. There’s not much more annoying than spending an hour, or more, reading advice on writing in front of your computer only to discover something better later.
Before the start of this year, I searched for the best way to open a story, and the results were fairly similar, which led me to think that the most common suggestion must be the best guidance to follow. I gathered that the most effective opening paragraphs start with getting straight to the point and that the first sentence is always powerful. I agreed with this at first, but as I thought about it I decided that it wasn’t that straight forward. Not every writer starts their stories along those lines, but it is useful advice.
A while after I searched for ten tips on writing, and the amount of results alone that came up in Google made me wonder if my desire to write was too ambitious, but that was harmless compared to The Guardian’s 10 rules for writing fiction. After I looked at it I considered stopping writing completely. In it they have several tips suggested by various authors, one of which, by Will Self, was to stop reading fiction. I found some of the advice to be a little extreme – and humorous – but if that advice has worked for them then of course it makes sense to offer it to others.
Today, when it comes to searching through the web for whatever reason, I look up only the smallest thing such as the correct use of the semicolon, or the meaning of a word that I can’t find in my dictionary. If I do come across an obstacle in writing – which is something that will always occur – I simply just figure out how to sort it myself.
Featured image by Viktor Hanacek