Here are two excellent interviews to celebrate the third birthday of Friendship is Magic!
Pony Fiction Vault published these fine specimen over the course of the week, one with Amy Keating Rogers and one with M.A. Larson. My typical modus operandi for these is to pick out one particularly insightful paragraph as teaser along with the link to the full version, but in this case I could hardly choose! (The link part was easy though.)
[Amy Keating Rogers:] Take writing classes, have your work read out loud, be merciless with your editing–sometimes you have to cut the thing you love the most because it just doesn’t work in the piece. And I often figure out a problem with a story when I’m doing something mundane. Driving my car is when I figure out lots of my story problems.
[M.A. Larson:] Okay, this is really important to aspiring writers. This is my experience, so yours might not be the same, but I always wished someone would have told me this. My first drafts always SUCK. Writing them is a horrible slog. I always feel like I’m writing garbage. But I’ve done it long enough now to know that when I read back through it, it won’t be nearly as bad as I thought it would. And the real writing doesn’t even start (again, for me) until that horrible first pass is down. This is where I’m “prepping the clay” for the spinning wheel, I guess. I have developed into a writer who requires a ton of outlining and mapping out before that first draft. I always find things go better for me if I’ve broken the story into smaller and smaller pieces. Then its easier to swim through the blackness from one buoy to the next.