Writing Tips

 

“Bad writing precedes good writing. This is an infallible rule, so don’t waste time trying to avoid bad writing. (That just slows down the process.) Anything committed to paper can be changed. The idea is to start and go from there.” –Janet Hulstrand

 

“Self-doubt, exhaustion, and confusion are part of the process. Embrace them and don’t stop writing to examine what you have. The world is full of people trying to perfect chapter one.” –Kerry Greenwood

 

“If you are struggling with writing a character, write 20 things a reader will never know about your character. These will naturally bleed into your writing and provide a richness even though you don’t share the detail.” –Barbara Poelle

Clear The Cobwebs

BicycleBikeTrailBlackberryBlooms

On The Lake Fayetteville Trail. Blackberry in full bloom.

Into rewrite of Chapter 26 of my wip titled “The Corpsemakers” since very early morning. Hit an idea block on one of the sub-plots and a pesky antagonist acting out of character, dialogue stilted, not convincing. Hard to believe characters won’t play nice with your well-plotted scenario, huh? What’s a writer to do? Answer:  Keep working on it!

By nine thirty, I was ready for a break.

Clear blue skies, no rain, no wind. A big change from the rains experienced recently. Time for a another bike run around Fayetteville to clear the cobwebs and get the ideas flowing. Hit Fayetteville’s wonderful bike trails, headed out around Lake Fayetteville and parts beyond.

Back home now after logging just over 18 miles and feeling refreshed.

Enjoying a quick meal of fish, cucumbers, and tomatoes before jumping back into writing.

Now, where did I leave that pesky, uncooperative character?

 

A Little Too Much Water

My previous post found humor in two canoes being pulled behind a plumbing and repair van. However, after more than a week of storms bringing massive rains to the area leaving roads, bridges, bike and hiking trails either under water, damaged, and/or washed away, having a boat might have been a good idea.

As an example, this is a picture of the beautiful War Eagle Mill now flooded from the heavy rains. The mill was originally built in 1832.

War Eagle Mill April 2017 Flood

Photo by Clayton-Taylor FayettevilleFlyer.com

 

Too Funny

How big of a water leak is it when the plumbing and repair people show up with two canoes? Must be a whopper!

Saw this vehicle and trailer on my way home today. It’s a plumbing and repair van pulling a trailer carrying two canoes. I hope this guy is just heading to the lake to enjoy a beautiful spring day rather than responding to a water leak. Either way, it just struck me as humorous.

Davis Plumbing and Repairs with canoes

Palahniuk and Pound on Showing, Not Telling

Here is a re-post of an informative blog post by writer, Mike Tuggle, on improving prose. As I read Mike’s post, I was reminded of one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury, who presented an incredibly descriptive writing style much like that suggested.

M.C. Tuggle, Writer

Chuck Palahniuk

While marinating ideas for my next writing project, I’ve been scrounging the web for articles on improving my prose, and I wanted to share one I thought was particularly good. It’s from bad boy Chuck Palahniuk, who’s on the warpath against what he dismisses as abstract “thought” verbs:

These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.

The list should also include: Loves and Hates.

And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those, later.

Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night…”

Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because…

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Seventy Isn’t Old…If You’re A Tree

Today marks my seventieth birthday. It’s been an interesting run through life at this point and I am hopeful there are more wonderful times yet to come. I think having a good sense of humor helps us get through the ups and downs of whatever the years throw at us thus the title I selected for this blog post.

I’m tempted to expound upon the humor of being seventy as the blog title illustrates. For instance, “I’m now eighteen with fifty-two years of experience”. Or, “I’m too young to be seventy.” And how about, “I’m 70 in years but 20 in spirit!”

Humor aside, I think author Victoria Erickson has a good take on aging for all of us, especially writers:

victoriaericksonquote