Wednesday April 18, 2012
I'm sorry to say that this will be my last post as your guide here. Due to changing circumstances in other parts of my life I will no longer have the time to give this site the attention it deserves.
My brief stay here has been fun and rewarding and I'm sorry to have to go so soon. I've learned a lot and really enjoyed getting to know many of you.
I wish you all the best in your writing adventures!
Monday April 2, 2012
There are three ways I generally start writing a new story. Most often I start with the scrap of an idea, almost as often with a character, and once in a while a setting grabs me and starts the ball rolling.
There is a fourth way to get a story started, and it's one I've largely ignored. That method is to begin with a theme in mind. I've avoided this method of story creation largely to avoid writing fiction with a "message". I write to entertain, not educate and having my writing come across as a sermon does not appeal to me.
In researching theme and how best to use it I came across some interesting takes on theme that made me think differently. I now believe that starting with the theme in mind does not have to lead to preachy fiction at all. I also believe that the sooner you have a handle on your theme the faster and easier your writing will be.
Check out Know Your Theme and see how redefining theme can help your writing.
Monday March 26, 2012
The first draft, for me is always the toughest. I know that once I get that down I have something I can edit, massage, and shape into a solid polished work. Something real. It's wading through the first draft that nearly stops me every time.
I think it's because I write too slowly. I get sidetracked. I start editing - which in a first draft is death. I know I need to power through, to just keep typing. But it's tough to do. It's hard to leave things in a messy, embarrassing state for long.
So I've started trying to up my word-count. To write fast. And the best way I've found to write faster is to do a little more planning, to structure things so I have a better idea where I'm going when I start to write. This small amount of planning just before each writing session has saved me tons of re-writing, and upped my daily word-count by a ton.
I've been taking that idea a bit further lately and really digging into story structure. I'll share my thoughts on that with you in an upcoming article.
For now, here are a few more thoughts on How to Write Faster.
I'd love to hear your tips and techniques for getting that first draft done, and how to write quickly.
Sunday March 25, 2012
Want to be a more interesting writer? Then lead a more interesting life.
It's that simple - and that difficult.
Writing can be a very solitary occupation, and most writers grow to be content with being alone for long stretches of time. While I think that this obsession with writing is pretty much a requirement of the working writer, it can make you dull. And that's a problem.
You might not even notice it at first since your previous life experiences have given you plenty to write about, at least for a while. But sooner or later you need to get out in the world and refill the creative tanks.
So remember to take a break from the keyboard and go do something. Anything. Interact with people, play basketball, go to the pub, it doesn't matter. Interesting, involved people have interesting stories to tell.
So be interesting, and your writing will never be dull.