Whew! The last two days have been quite productive for me. Not in the “I’ve cleaned the bathroom, kitchen, living room, and washed the car” kind of productive but rather the “I’ve written 2000 words in two days” kind of way. And its interesting because it took the advice from a podcast I stumbled upon to get my creative juices flowing.
Its called “I Should Be Writing” on Stitcher radio, and her name is Mur Lafferty. She hosts a fantastic podcast that gives “wanna-be” fiction writers great advice on the craft of writing and everything else a struggling writer might be pulling out their hair about.
While in the car rider line at my daughter’s school, I get about 20 minutes to listen to her wise advice as I stare at the idling car in front of me. Two days ago, Mur gave me the best advice yet. She said (I’m not quoting this exactly so don’t hold me to it) not stress over the editing while you write. She said that it will kill your creative drive and make your story drag out longer than it should. Her advice for beginning writers is to put that editor’s hat in the closet until AFTER you finish your entire first draft. This may come as old news to some of you, but for me it was pure fireworks on the Fourth of July! For so long I’ve obsessed with a sentence or paragraph to the point where I become frustrated, deflated, and sometimes homicidal.
So I took her advice and low and behold 2000 words spilled from my fingers! It was just what I needed to hear. But please don’t get me wrong. I’m not encouraging NOT to edit at all, but just let that part of the writing process have its place. At the end of the story.
Anyway, carry on my writing friends. Don’t let my meager blog slow you down. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! And put that editor’s hat away. For now at least. 🙂
P.S. You can find Mur Lafferty and her awesome podcasts on her website at www.murverse.com
I took this photo in September of last year somewhere in southern Georgia. I was driving down a winding, pot hole ridden road when I saw this black wrought iron gate peeking through some thorny underbrush. Behind the gate were five crumbling headstones. Only a few of them legible. Here’s the challenge: Write the beginning of a story with this photo in mind. Genre and word count doesn’t matter. I’m just curious to see what my friends can come up with! Good luck!
St. Augustine is my favorite. Wish I could just stay there for a few months and write. Click the link and drool.
Best Trips 2013 — National Geographic.
“I have nothing left but memories of him. Frozen recollections that will not melt until the day my skin feels the earth. And then, the memories won’t be melted and soaked up by the sun but rather refrozen into the minds of my children.” ~J.R.E. Pittman
So as my small group of followers know, I’ve been on a writing hiatus for the past couple of days. Well, not a complete writing hiatus. I’ve written things here and there, just not in my book. As I was cleaning and rearranging my home office, I started thinking about my story. I realized that maybe I needed to add more character information to the beginning and the middle to give the reader more time to “care” about my protagonist. There’s nothing like reading a story and not bonding with the character.
If we were to think about To Kill A Mocking Bird’s Scout Finch, for example, we know that her mother died, her father is a lawyer, she’s a tomboy, she’s close with her brother, and they are deathly afraid of the Radley house. We know that she has a bad temper and gets into fights with little boys at school. Had Harper Lee not painted such a spunky, vibrant picture of this little girl, we wouldn’t have cared or connected with her and certainly would have forgotten about her when we closed the book.
My point? I think it is a good thing to put your writing down for a few days. Taste it, savor it, swallow it, digest it, and come back to it with a fresh outlook. For me, it has given new light to some weaker areas that I would have otherwise ignored.
Another thing that helped me get back to the novel was talking to my husband about the plot and character development. He has some fantastic questions and suggestions. I was so excited to write again that I almost left the office a mess and started writing right then and there! Find a writing partner or just someone to throw ideas around with and see how quick it will spark new interest within yourself about your book. Of course pick someone who is trustworthy and honest. You will want to listen to their critique and learn what they like and what doesn’t make sense to them. After all, they will represent what your future reader might be thinking.
Also, I’ve been thinking about posting a few scenes and maybe even chapters on here to get your feedback. I’d love to hear what people think. Until then, happy writing everyone!