What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard?

For me it was that rewrite post that gets passed around tumblr. That was so useful!

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Maybe more a result of constructive criticism than advice (although I’ve seen posts talk about it as well), but the stand out thing I’ve changed in all my writing (since I started writing original fiction anyway) is to stop using epithets all the time.  For years and years I thought I had to avoid repetition of the character’s names, so I would alternate between them and various other descriptors.  Often just something like the colour of the character’s hair or style of dress.  It wasn’t until I wrote my first original story about two years ago that someone pointed out that it was actually very confusing.

First by my niece, but she was only nine and being silly, or so I thought (she also only complained that Jennifer was blonde, so I thought it was expections and stereotypes had gotten the better of her since Jen is actually the very smart one).  But then quite a few other people pointed out it was confusing as well, so I figured then they were probably on to something.  I’m rewrting that story now for lots of reasons, so it’s something I’m going to cut out and try to avoid in the future.

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