Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Writing with others

Many ideas grow better when they are transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up. ~~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Have you had experience writing with a partner?

I must say, for the most part, I work much better on my own. I have co-authored some pieces, but it always seems to work the best if we divide up the work. I don't know if I just like the control of having my own portion of a project, or if I have trouble processing when trying to meld my thoughts with those of another writer. I think it probably boils down to needing to be quiet within myself when I'm writing.

I do, however, like to hear how my ideas grow better after another person lets them rattle around in their brain for a while. It's intriguing when I write one thing and the reader interprets it in a different way or takes it a step or two beyond my thinking.

Isn't that why we write...to give the reader a jumping off point?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Wrap Up --

I did some poking around the web this week and have some great finds.

For those of you who quilt and write, here's an opportunity to write a short piece about a quilting experience that inspired you. The author of the book, Dianna Grundhauser, is a beautiful quilter... You might want to take a look at her work. That's for sure. You can find it all at her website: The Quilting Spirit.

I'm always looking for new sites of inspiration. I'm loving this blog I found. It's Scoutie Girl. On it you'll find lots of inspiration, artistically displayed. If you're looking to boost your creativity, this is a blog that will help you.

Finally, if you're a pet blogger like I am. You might want to check out BlogPaws. What a wonderful site and a wonderful concept. Not only do they support each other as bloggers, but they support Be The Change for Animals. Who can argue with such good motives for a blog.

Hope you find one or all of these interesting. I'm off to read more about all of them.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Show the reader...

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. ~~ E.L. Doctorow
Much is said about showing versus telling. This quote gives a great example of the concept. Don't tell someone it's raining, make them feel rained upon.

So often in my editing of manuscripts, showing versus telling is the one thing authors miss and is the one thing that keeps the novel from coming to life. The reader doesn't want to peer into the story. Instead, make the reader feel as if they are part of the story, living and breathing it. Use all the senses. Let your reader see, feel, smell, taste and hear the story, and you'll have one happy reader.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Are Your Characters Real?

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature. ~~ Ernest Hemingway
Are your characters real people? Oh, I don't mean that they are people in your life who you meet for lunch or drinks after work. I mean are they people to you?

Many writers say that their characters take on a life of their own. They transcend the bonds of being characters and develop minds of them own, pulling the story in this or that direction.

I think development of a good back story often helps transform characters into people. If the back story is detailed enough, the characters have a vivid past upon which to base decisions and to direct their actions.

How about you...? Are your characters people? Have they become your friends?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Revise, Revise, Revise.... Shred!

Sometimes it's better to rip it up and take a sunbath under your desk lamp than to continue with revisions. Think about how liberating the occasional shredding can be.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Writer's Block

Writing... It's just like chatting with an old friend.

Write as you speak. ~~Joel Saltzman
Is the cure to writer's block as easy as write as you speak? The idea has merit. Often when we are in the throes of writer's block, I think it stems from trying to force our writing in a direction that doesn't interest us or doesn't sound like us.

Another bit of writing advice often given is write what you know. It's trite, but writer's block could stem from the fact that we haven't fully researched our topic. So, here we are, groping for facts to turn into words and phrases and they won't come. Why not? We don't know the topic well enough to organize it and put it into our own words.

My advice.... know your topic well enough to speak fluently about it.... Then, write as you speak. Write about the topic as if you are just talking to a friend over coffee. That should loosen things up a bit.

Many say there is no such thing as writer's block. I think we talk ourselves into it and can likewise talk ourselves out of it by writing as we speak.

This one's for Mama Holly.... hope it helps!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Concrete vs. Abstract

An abstract style is always bad. Your sentences should be full of stones, metals, chairs, tables, animals, men and women. ~~ Alain (Emile Chartier)
When we are beginning writers we often make the mistake of writing in a circuitous confluence of contradictions to attempt to impress our readers that we are worldly and worthy of being taken seriously. I think we only end up confusing the reader and eventually losing his/her attention.

When the time comes, each writer becomes willing to write simply and beautifully by stating what must be said to get the point across and ending it there.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Writing is writing!

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining ... researching ... talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing. ~ E.L. Doctorow
I think we'd probably all be wise to concentrate on writing as writing. As the quote says, preparation is not writing. Writing is writing.

I do spend a lot of time thinking, outlining, planning, talking and researching. I enjoy those things, probably because they are safer than the actual writing. After all, no one fails at talking about their book or thinking about their book, because there is still the writing. That's when it goes down in black and white for others to see....

So friends.... be bold, be courageous.... WRITE!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Cat's Blog is More Popular Than Mine

What has this world come to....? I work hard at writing for Writer's Creative Studio and have wonderful followers, but I usually receive only a comment or two per post.... so it's a little hard to know if I'm hitting the mark.

My cat, however, has his own blog... and when he merely throws up a picture, he receives 12 to 14 comments. Now, I'm not trying to compete with him, mind you. I'm thrilled for him that he is finding such success. It's just that I can't help but wonder what makes his voice so much more popular than mine.

You might wonder why my cat has a blog. I created it for him on a lark. You see, I'm writing his memoir (trying to share a little of his wisdom with the world) and decided that he needed his own site on the Internet. Little did I know how popular he would be. He has over 1500 followers on Twitter and about 850 on Facebook.

I'm sure there is a moral to this story, but right now I can't find it. I think I'm writing this to let you know that I'm going to mix it up a bit here at Writer's Creative Studio. I'll still post the quotes and my interpretation of them when the mood strikes, but I'll be adding to my repertoire -- not to compete with Max, but to put into action what I've learned from his creative example.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Taking your work seriously

The one thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn
I rarely take myself too seriously, so I guess I'm not doomed to disaster. But the writing, yes, I take that seriously. I came to it slowly however. For years, I didn't call myself a writer -- despite writing daily and studying the writing of others daily.

I think it really helps to take the work seriously by calling yourself a writer before you label yourself with any other word, by starting and ending the day with some writing, and by keeping a notebook with you at all times to capture those wonderful ideas that flit though your mind at odd moments. That's, to me, the beginning of taking your work seriously.

How does taking your work seriously manifest itself in you?