- Revise. Edit. Rip apart that scene you loved which everyone agrees isn’t working, take into consideration their critiques, and re-write the thing. It’s painful. It hurts. Do it anyway. Hmm, I’m noticing a common theme here. Writing hurts! But then when the magic is burning though your veins, you know there’s nothing in the world you’d rather be doing.
- When all else fails, Outline. Ok, if we were going chronologically, this should obviously come first. And as a long devotee of Outline Resisters Anonymous, I understand it’s annoying and difficult and occasionally impossible. I revised my stance on the subject, however, after writing 200 meandering pages that ended up being useless because I didn’t know where the story was going next. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s useless pages. Do you know how long it takes to write 200 freaking pages? A LONG TIME! Determined not to waste so much time again, I approached outlining with reticence. With Glitch I charted out a basic arc to the story-line, beginning middle and end. Then I would outline about two scenes or chapters ahead as I went. With book II and III of the proposed trilogy, Agent Dude told me, hey, that sounds great, send me outlines. And I was like, um… o-kaaaaaaay. I didn’t say I’d never really in-depth outlined a whole book before. I just did it. It was strange and uncomfortable. But then it took on a life of it’s own as I thought through and imagined scenes (with full dramatic lighting and special effects, natch) in my head, and wrote them down on paper.
- Read Natalie Goldberg. There is no more beautiful writer who writes about writing. She approaches it like a zen practice, and if that sounds cheesy to you, well it’s not. It’s brilliant and beautiful, full of honesty and straight-to-the-gut zingers. Everyone will tell you to read Writing Down the Bones, and they are right. Go buy yourself a copy. Now.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Friday Tips For Aspiring Writers Part II
Continuing on with last week's theme: more tips for aspiring writers, aka, painful things I learned along the way that I wish I'd figured out sooner ;)