Advice from the Masters: C. J. Cherryh

Dec 5, 2012 | Better Writing

C. J. Cherryh. Ah, you think, what an interesting name. The “h” is silent and the name is pronounced “Cherry.” OK, then what’s the point? Well, in this case, when C. J. Cherryh started writing science fiction, her editor decided that “Cherry” sounded too much like a romance author.

Did you notice that I said, “she?” She (Carolyn Janice) is “C. J.” to disguise the fact that she’s a woman. When she started writing, publishers didn’t think that people would buy science fiction written by a woman. Sigh.

Well, guess what? She writes good stuff. She’s won some awards, but what’s most impressive to me is that she’s the only writer I know of to have an asteroid named after her. Here’s her advice for people who write.

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.”

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts.

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