Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Courage to be Average Before Brilliant

I'm writing to you today from the Pima Writers' Conference in Tucson,Arizona. The ice broke on the Santa Cruz River on Friday. There is no water in the river; it just means the temperature reached over 100 degrees for the first time this year. It's been that way for two days now and it'll be that way today, too. Ugh. Take me to a writing oasis!
Refresh the writing soul. Image "Oasis and Wonderland" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Dean Terry

Monday, May 25, 2015

13 Week Novel—Week 13 Activities: A Clean Finish

Hello. How is your week going?

Well, it's an exciting time—we're in our last week of the novel draft.
Get ready to write this! Image "3:10 to Yuma (1957)" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by twm1340

Monday, May 18, 2015

13 Week Novel—Week 12: Thinking about the End

It may seem pre-mature to start thinking about the resolution of your novel when you have just been writing 2500 words a weekyou're barely over 100 pages! But with this plan, you've written a crappy first draft in 13 weeks, so you have approximately 32,500 words. It's short; around 130 pages. That's the intent.

When you write a whole story really briefly you have the skeleton to work with in the next drafts. And the drafts that follow. You have something to work with so that you can build a more complex and interesting story, so you can develop the intricacies and explore emotions with greater focus, so you can refine the language and the narrator. In my world of writing, once you finish that crappy draft, you finally have room for the joy of creating a story that is it's own.

Take some time this week to dream big. Image: martinnak15 on Flickr Creative Commons

Monday, May 11, 2015

13 Week Novel—Week 11: Dialogue, Part 1

Why do so many "writers" not know how to write dialogue? I mean why don't they know how punctuation and capitalization in dialogue work?
If you don't know how the mechanics of dialogue work, readers question your writing ability. Image "Talking heads" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Gianni Dominici

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

13 Week Novel—Week 10: Getting Past the Slump

Well, it's Week 10. We should all be close to the end.

I'd like to take this time to remind all of us that this is not perfect. It may not even be good. But it's a draft that we can work with in the revision.
Is your brilliant story wilting in the middle? Image "Drooping Tulip" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Lynn Friedman
By this point in the novel, I'm skipping scenes, or just writing summaries, or just writing something terrible that I want to erase right away. But I don't erase it. I tell people I want to delete it, but I don't delete a damned thing until I revise. Not even he worst crap.