Sunday, May 15, 2011

Writing Tips from Charlaine Harris; or, The Secrets of Writing, Revealed

Thanks to a friend of mine, this week I found myself in possession of a ticket to see Charlaine Harris, author of the True Blood series, at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver.

The True Blood books have been a guilty pleasure of mine for the last couple of years, ever since my Beloved Husband first pointed them out to me in a bookstore. I've been rationing them out slowly to myself, trying my hardest not to read them all in one gulp. I've been enjoying the television series as well, though since I don't have cable, I'm forced to wait for them on DVD.

So when I had a chance to go and hear Ms. Harris speak, I jumped on it. And I'm very glad I did. She was entertaining and charming and willing to share tips on writing with the crowd.

So here's what I learned from listening to her talk:

  1. If you want to be a writer, the first thing you have to do is to read. A lot. Read everything you can find. Keep reading.
  2. And then, you have to write. A lot.
  3. You have to be fond of your own company.
  4. People who spend all of their time talking about the book they're going to write never actually get the book written.

All of which is excellent advice.

And a couple of things I learned by observation:

  1. When you love what you do, it shows. When Charlaine Harris talks about writing, she practically glows. You can tell that she loves what she does. She would probably be doing it even if she didn't get paid for it.
  2. If you're going to be a bestselling author, it helps to have a great sense of humor and a lot of charm and grace. Ms. Harris has all of these things.

After listening to Ms. Harris, I feel newly inspired to go out and write great things.

Have other people been inspired by meeting authors? What's the best advice you've ever gotten from a writer?

(Thanks again to David Boop for the ticket!)