Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Gritty

Here’s the gen on the actual stuff about writing.  Now that you’ve got your gist, outline, character sketches, you are faced with an empty page or screen.  Don’t panic.  The book will write itself.  Just let it happen. Don’t fight it.
Mypicture Set up your writing space.  Dedicate this space to the project.  Choose a time for the writing and keep to it. Do it five days a week.  Select an output figure, i.e. number of pages daily or weekly. Stick to it.  I try for 5 new pages a day. If that’s too much, lower it.
WRITE IT DOWN!!  ALL DOWN!!!  I mean keep on writing it down. Put in everything; don’t judge it.  You can take it out, re-write later, throw it away.  It’s important to put it down and let the life of the book find its own way.
Some tips:  beware of adverbs, they are not your friends.  Put them in if you like them and then take them out.  Be ruthless.  Use a lot of dialogue; your characters will love you if you do.  They want to be heard.  Let action, dialogue, and events run the story. Don’t TELL what happened, describe the action or the interplay.  Get rid of THEN. It’s a horrible little word.
Continuity and Suspension of Disbelief. 
First, Continuity.  If you start out with a character described in a certain way, don’t change it unless there is a plot reason for the change that is apparent to the reader.  This applies to time period, place or setting, plot elements etc.
Suspension of Disbelief.  Lock the reader into some kind of reality: time, place, who was there. Then the unbelievable can happen.  I use Lonely Planet guides for foreign locations and info on food, customs, dress etc.  They are fabulous guides, the very best.

Mypicture1 Don’t wait for the inspiration god to arrive. It won’t. Writing is a job, a discipline, a task. Practice it. Struggle with it. Throw out you first 15 pages. Start over.  BUT get it done. Finish the ms.  If you hone it too much, the spirit of the characters will leave you and find someone else to hang out with.
A famous Hemingway tip:  Don’t finish the section you are working on at the end of your writing day.  Leave the finishing of the section until the next day.  You’ll have the juice to start the day with instead of facing a blank page.
Have FUN!  Get a full-time job. Learn how to juggle. Join the circus.
Good luck,

No comments:

Post a Comment