Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Craft of Writing

Today, a simple list on how to develop your craft of writing, how to keep it crisp, engaging and tell your story.

Yep, just a list. Things I’ve learned in years of writing. Agree, disagree, make use or don’t. Your choice. But whatever you decide, keep on writing.

1.               Keep it simple.
2.               Don’t overwrite.
3.               Keep a light touch with your settings and descriptions, sprinkle information through your story, don’t feed it in huge lumps.
4.               Forget multitasking – focus on monotasking – give yourself uninterrupted time for your writing – put down the phone, no texting, nothing, just write.
5.               Think before you include an expletive. Does it fit the character? Does it give the situation more punch or is it just there for the sake of a bit of shock value? Some people find such words offensive – if you’re going to use them make maximum use of their punch.
6.               Use simple, declarative sentences unless absolutely necessary.
7.               Avoid the passive voice – engage your reader.
8.               Cut the crap. Really. Listen to Elmore Leonard – if it sounds like writing, rewrite it.
9.               Watch out for adjectives and adverbs. Keep them to a minimum.
10.         Never rescue your hero or heroine. They have to learn to do that for themselves.
11.         Watch your paragraph lengths. Keep them shorter unless absolutely necessary ~words as well, writing is not a vocabulary contest.
12.         Try visualizing who you’re writing for.
13.         A broom is not a long-handled kitchen cleaning implement, it’s a broom! Clear on that?
14.         Write the way that works best for you.
15.         Write first without worrying about spelling, grammar, punctuation fixes. Let your right brain run wild.
16.         Write from the heart. 

Oh, and don’t listen to too much advice, clear your own path. 

Now go write something.

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