Butcher’s Advice for the Aspiring Writer

It goes without saying that I’m proud of Jim Butcher and his success. It’s wonderful to see a writer taking hold of innate talent, harnessing it with solid writing craft, and not only breaking into the business but climbing to the top of it. Jim hasn’t achieved his success through blind luck or by his agent calling in favors from some editor. Instead, he’s done it the right way–through grit, determination, and sheer hard work.

You may still mutter about luck … he entered the urban fantasy market at just the right time, yada yada yada.

Well, folks, I believe that writers make their own luck. If you hone your craft and prepare yourself to be the best writer you can, you’ll be ready to seize opportunity when it offers itself.

And it will.

Better still, if you’re ready, you’ll recognize opportunity when it rolls by.

There’s nothing sadder to me than to see a young, talented writer fumble a golden chance through sloppy skills, lack of readiness, or inattention.

Take a look at Jim’s advice. (jimbutcher.livejournal.com/4217.html) Read it more than once. Let it soak into your heart. Take inspiration from it. And, most importantly, follow it.


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7 responses to “Butcher’s Advice for the Aspiring Writer

  1. I love his writing advice on that blog. I wish he’d add more to it, but it’s been a number of years since he’s updated, so I won’t hold my breath. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ever since I read Bickham’s Scene & Structure, I’ve wanted to study at the University of Oklahoma. When I discovered Jim Butcher had studied there, I went back to pouring over my Bickham books on writing. Really some of the best stuff. Maybe one day the professional writing program there will be available online. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • A major university incorporates change slowly, but there are efforts being made to create and offer some online professional writing courses from OU. I don’t know at this stage whether they’ll happen or when they’ll come about, but at least they’re becoming a possibility.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hi Deborah,
    One of your former students here! Great to see you blogging! Added you to my RSS feed.
    I’m plugging away writing for WOOD Magazine.
    But I’ve been starting to dust off some old story ideas to see if I had any fiction left in me. When I googled you, I came across the blog. Should be a big help!

  3. I second the earlier comment: reading Jim Butcher on writing has been very interesting, and I think it’s been helpful. If only there were more of it!

    • Jim offers good explanations of the writing craft. As for the quantity of it, we have to remember that he’s a writer first, not a teacher. It’s important that he stay focused on producing his Harry Dresden series and other projects.

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