Sunday, November 13, 2011

Elizabeth Zelvin and her mantras

The Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime recently hosted New York mystery author Elizabeth Zelvin (Death Will Get You Sober and Death Will Help You Leave Him). Zelvin, at left above, with LISINC president Marilyn Levinson, had great writing tips for other authors. Her mantras:

Just keep telling the story. Keep writing until you've finished the first draft, edit later.

Talent, Persistence and Luck help -- and sometimes you just have to do with persistence, persistence and persistence. You have to be persistent through every stage -- writing, revising, even networking.

Don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle. Zelvin said she wanted to quit many times, but she continued -- and eventually succeeded in getting her first novel published.

Nothing is wasted. Either the mistakes will teach you something or you'll be able to use the discarded material in another way.

I'm writing the best I can. Someone else may write better, or differently, but write to your ability.

More will be revealed. "I continue to see things that need fixing, that I didn't see three months ago," Zelvin said.

Zelvin has more on the writing process at Poe's Deadly Daughters, the blog she shares with five other authors.