Writer Wednesdays… Lynn Viehl

So I already explained where the idea for Writer Wednesdays came from.  The first guest is one of my absolute, unchanging fave authors… Lynn Viehl. (I say unchanging, because I have a list of faves that changes, and one that never changes…Lynn Viehl, like Nora Roberts, never, ever leaves the list.)

The questions for WW are going to stay the same. At least that’s the plan.

Three questions are mostly writer-focused, but one applies to readers and writers.

Here we go…

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A:   My daily edits never change.  I always edit whatever new material I write on the same day, and then I don’t look at it again until I’m finished the entire book. This helps me avoid problems like over-writing the story, getting caught in backtracking/rewriting loops, or carrying the partial manuscript out in the back yard to set it on fire and roast marshmallows over it.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A:   When other writers try to give you advice, just tell them to piss off.  Kidding.  The only new writer advice that ever worked for me was something author Susan Elizabeth Phillips told me when I was a rookie:  Whatever you do, protect the work.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A:   If I’m getting only one chance to use a magic brain eraser on every writer, I’d scrub out that idiot “Write what you know.”  It’s complete nonsense.  Write what you don’t know.  Write what you dream.  Write whatever you damn well feel like writing.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: For everybody, it would have to be One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


5 Replies to “Writer Wednesdays… Lynn Viehl”

  1. I just dropped by to see what book it was Lynn would recommend everyone read. I was amazed to find it was one by Solzhenitsyn.

    The Gulag Archipelago by the same author affected me deeply when I read it.

  2. Hi Shiloh,

    Just came over to show some love. What amazing article by Lynn.

    Teresa K.

  3. @Paul, yeah, I’d notice your author/title on her blog. Not exactly the run-of-the-mill selection, huh? I’m debating on whether or not I can handle it.

  4. Hi Shiloh,

    I came across it in a book shop when I was a teen. I have no idea what prompted me to pick it up and buy it ( I had never heard of the guy) but I will never forget reading it. I had never read anything so depressing or disturbing. Not a fun read.


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