Learn from your art

In their classic book, Art & Fear, David Bayles and Ted Orland advise the reader to

Make objects that talk—and then listen to them.

Your work needs to speak for itself—it needs to feel alive and it needs to communicate to the reader or viewer without your intervention.

Advice from others (yes, even me) can only get you so far. The real teacher is your work itself. Apply a critical eye to what you have created, being sure not to criticize while you’re in the process of creation.

  • Where have you over-egged the pudding?
  • Where have you not gone far enough?
  • Does your work stand up on its own merits?
  • What does your manuscript need most?
  • Where would your story take you if you loosened the reins a bit?

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