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Mind the Gap

I really thought I had posted this video before, but I think I tried a few years ago and was not able to get it to show properly on the page.

This video, using an extract from an interview with Ira Glass, is a short but powerful explanation of why it is a good thing when you think your writing is terrible.

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Posted by on November 11, 2015 in Writing

 

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Things I think about #2 : Senses

Something else that I started doing when I wrote Romance Fiction for the first time, but have found myself doing all the time now, is asking…

“What sense is being used in this scene?”

Sure my Main Character can walk into a room, and tell us what he sees.  But to make us truly feel what he feels in the room, maybe he can smell something.  Maybe the doorknob was rough when he opened the door.  Did it squeak when he pushed it?

He may have walked out of the room quickly, but maybe we only know that because of the feel of the wind on his face.

And just what does an oyster taste like?

I try to make sure that on each page, I am describing the scene with a different sense.  It is not necessary to use all 5 at once, or to use them in order like a rotation.  But I try to make sure I am not neglecting any of them in the long term story.

Sometimes I go back over the manuscript and mark each paragraph in a different colour depending on the sense being used to describe it.  And if there is too much green, and not enough blue, then I need to think about that one.

Do you think about this?

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Ponderings

 

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Writing music

Many people enjoy writing to music.  I can not. I find it too distracting when I am trying to be creative.  I can not even blog, or read blogs, with music playing.  Especially if it has lyrics.

What about you?  Do you find music aids your creativity?  What do you listen to when you are creating?

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Ponderings

 

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Writing Books

No, I am not talking about writing novels or fiction, I am talking about books about writing. 

There are a lot of books out there about writing.  Some quite good, some…. not so much.  There are people who believe that you can never learn anything useful about writing from a textbook, and that you need to just do it.  Then there are those who can not get enough of these books. 

Which side of the fence do you fall?  Do you think they are useful, or just a waste of time?

I have read a great number, but the ones that I found most useful were…

On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King.

This book is presented as half memoir, half writing advice.  I found the sections of using the right word, and the editing advice very helpful, and I often go back to this book as a reference when I am needing it, or just for some inspiration.

 

 

No Plot? No Problem
by Chris Baty

This book is very useful for those frantic November months when I am struggling with NaNoWriMo, or any other time I just want to get lots of words written without a clear idea where I am going.  It is not about finding the perfect plot, it is about learning to start writing without the perfect plot, and having faith that your plot will find you.

 

Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life

It’s Snoopy.  What’s not to like?

OKay, not really.  However it is still an awesome book, and very useful.

 

 

 

 

So, what books about writing do you recommend?

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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Ponderings

 

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2012–The end? Or the beginning?

 

Well, if the Mayans and Hollywood are to be believed, then the world is going to end later this year. 

(*cough* Loonies *cough*)

 

 

Whether they are right, or wrong, I still plan to write as if there is no tomorrow.  Last year I got a bit distracted from my writing.  For those of you who don’t know, I got myself a little bit married in November 2011.  Which may account for me being absent from NaNoWriMo last year. 

My goal(s) for this year are simple.  Write something!

I am working my way through A Writers Book of Days, and am trying to write at least 750 words every day from the prompts there.  I am trying to do it as my morning pages again, but for the most part it seems to happen whenever I get time in the day.

My goal… is to write at least 200,000 words this year.  That might sounds a little heavy, but once you take out the 50,000 I plan to do in December, it is not that hard.  It just means I have to try and write at least 200 days this year.  How hard can that be?

Rather than spending too much time on editing and doing fancy projects this year, I plan to go back to basics.  Just start writing and see where it takes me.

What are your goals or plans for 2012?

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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in For the readers, Ponderings

 

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A Writer’s Book of Days

On any given day, a writer might write the best work of his life.

What if today was that day?

newwritersbookofdayslrgH3001 One of the best parts of the book is the fact that each page has a few writing prompts -  One for each day of the year. 

JULY 11 – In her fantasies…
JULY 12 – Staying awake all night
JULY 13 – Lost in the shadows of time past
JULY 14 – A black-and-white photograph
JULY 15 – Write about a flying dream

 

The book starts with a list of 12 Guides for Writing Practice:

    1. Keep Writing.
    2. Trust your pen.
    3. Don’t judge your writing.
    4. etc…….

Then each of these twelve points forms the subject of a chapter, each one from January to December.  So this book is ideally suited to spending a month working through the contents of that chapter, and doing writing prompts each day.  Truly a one-year writing course.

Unlike a number of other books I have read on the subject of writing, this one places emphasis on writing practice rather than theory.  It constantly reminds the reader of the need to “just write something.”

There are also amusing and inspiring lists, such as “what writers did in their day jobs” , “Which writers wrote standing up, sitting down or in bed” and “how writers got inspired.”  I am not sure that smelling a desk full of rotten apples is ever going to catch on, but it worked for some people.  (no names mentioned, so as not to embarrass Friedrich Von Schiller.)

I have not had the opportunities I had hoped to work through the book this year, but I am trying to start now.  I will let you know how that works out.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in books

 

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Faith and Writing #9 – Big Write/Little Write

I love to write by hand.  I enjoy it because it feels good.  I enjoy it because it feels like I am writing, not just working.  I enjoy it because I can do it any time or place.

That last one is a biggie.  I write in an A5 notepad with a hardcover and ring spine, so I can flip it open and pen a few words whenever the notion takes me.  I write in queues, I write in traffic jams, I write in boring meetings, or just wherever I may be. 

This is what I call the “small write.”

It is a lot like prayer.  I don’t wait for a special time and place to pray.  Wherever I am, when the notion takes me, I shoot off a quick word to God.  I tell him how I am feeling, and ask him for help with something.  Or just say “Hi, it’s me.”

But I also like to write at set times.  Like for at least 30 minutes in the morning before I start the day.  It helps me to get the nights thoughts out of my head, and onto paper.  So I commit to an hour of writing in the morning.

This is what I call the “big write”.

I do the big write every day, regardless of whether I feel like it, or whether I have anything interesting to say.  I just write.  Because I need to make a habit of writing if I want to call myself a writer. 

The big write reminds me why I want to be a writer, and the small write reminds me that I am a writer.  I can’t live without both of them.

In the same way, I start each day with set prayer.  I pray at set times, like lunch, or at night, as well.  Even if I don’t feel like praying, or don’t feel like I have anything to say.  I pray, to remind myself that I am a Christian.

The set prayers help me to want to pray throughout the day, because it starts the day right, and keeps me focused on who I am.

“Small prayer” makes my life a Life of Prayer. 
“Big prayer” makes me want a life of prayer.

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Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Faith and Writing

 

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