Smart Chicks Give Great Advice

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A couple of weeks ago I saw the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour when it came through Scottsdale, AZ. That night, the lineup was Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan & Kimberly Derting.

The auditorium was packed with about 300 fans, mostly teens, which was awesome.

And let it be known: Sarah Rees Breenan is hilarious.

The Chicks did some audience-interaction games, gave away prizes and goodies and answered questions. One member of the audience asked for writing advice, as he was finishing his first novel.

So I took notes. Cuz that’s what I do.

Here’s some of the advice given by Holly Black, Melissa Marr and Alyson Noel.

Holly’s Writing Tips:

  • Read a lot, and read outside of your genre
  • Write a lot and keep revising
  • Have a critique partner who is also a writer

It took Holly five years to write her first book.

Melissa’s advice:

  • Don’t give up
  • Read other novels and see what works and doesn’t work for you
  • Determine how to apply what you learn from other novel to your work
  • Be as harsh on yourself as possible
  • Remember it’s all subjective
  • You will be discouraged; don’t give up

Alyson’s advice:

  • Be patient with yourself
  • Realize most people don’t have the determination to finish
  • Work hard
  • Allow yourself to just get the story down
  • Don’t expect perfection on the first draft

Excellent advice from some of today’s top YA authors. Hope you found it helpful and encouraging!


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