I've been fortunate on several occasions to spend significant one-on-one time with a wonderful lady named Patti Gauch. She is not one to hem or haw about what needs to be said. She will often preface a manuscript session with, "Our time is precious, so let's get right to it." And she does. Thorough is her middle name. Her advice is rich and dense with pointed observations and suggestions. It sometimes takes days to mentally sort through and process what she has said. She can be tough, but I feel like I'm a stronger writer because of her.
Each time I have a significant hiatus from writing, I pull out a list of my favorite Patti-isms and re-read them before I begin. It helps me focus, so I thought I share them with you.
- Go to the well
- Tell one hell of a tale
- Keep voice front and center
- Don't be stodgy
- Get it all down first
- Set it aside
- Do it again...
- Ask yourself: Does it go far enough?
- Is it sassy enough?
- Be extreme enough when making a point.
- Don't pussyfoot around!
- Make the reader worry. It means they care.
So there you have it. Wonderful advice from a mentor. Now back to work, everyone!