Gene Wolfe, fabulous and almost-legendary SF writer who just won a World Fantasy Award for his story collection, has an interesting interview at Black Gate (http://www.blackgate.com/2010/11/23/and-it-goes-on-from-there-an-interview-with-gene-wolfe/). Among other things, he offers his top five pieces of writing advice to aspiring authors. Here they are:
1.) Get up early and write.
2.) Read what you’re trying to write, for Godsakes! (Don’t read enormous fantasy series if you’re trying to write short stories.)
3.) Remember that it is characterizing that puts your story heads and shoulders over the others in the slush pile.
4.) You do not characterize by telling the reader about the character. You do it by showing the character thinking, speaking and acting in a characteristic way. You simply show it and shut up.
5.)Do not start a story unless you have an ending in mind. You can change the story’s ending if you wish, but you should always have a destination.
I heartily agree with 3 1/2 of these. Before I say which ones on my next blog, and why, anybody want to guess what I'm not agreeing with?