I am going to take an itty-bitty break from the Character exercise to toss out some First Time Writer Sage Advice. Admittedly, this is prodigious advice for anyone who taps the consoles, even if it is to stalk ex’s on Facebook, so heed well and SHARE WITH MANY!
1. Be authentic. Your voice is your only thing of value. Do not try to be anything but genuine. The best compliment I can get is when people read my work and say it was just like I was sitting in the room with them. They hear my voice. This should always be your goal.
2. Thoughtful functioning. Tell your family that you sitting in a room “thinking” is you writing, not a trigger for them to ask for snacks, or clean undies or a blowie. You working as a writer include as much time sitting and thinking as fingers skittering across the keyboard.
3. Write every day at the same time. Like your morning constitution, compose each day at the exact period and you will always write well. Your mind/body relationship is hardwired, so develop habits. I write for a determined amount of time every day and then walk away. Even if I am in the midst of the most brilliant sentence ever written in the history of man. That way, you always look forward to coming back.
4. Kill the ones you love the most. When a first draft is finished, reread it and the one paragraph or sentences that you love the most, delete it. This practice always makes your writing stronger. It is usually as hard as cutting of a finger, but do it anyway.
5. Save or die. When do you push “Save”? Always and often. If you so much as sit back in your chair, hit save. You cannot do it too much. Save on your computer and in the Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) it is free.
If you write the old fashion way with pen and paper, then take those to Kinko’s and have them scanned. I am serious. I once wrote an impeccable poetry book. My writing was done at the beach on Thai paper with a German fountain pin. It was complete, beautiful, the stuff legends were built. Then I spilled water on the cover. It erased 80% of the book.
6. Junk Language. We all have little darlings we use too much like salt or cheese. Mine tend to be So, Just, Great, Delicious, Fine. When you finish a story, use the “find” function (under edit) and look for instances of all these nauseating word-goblins. Delete, erase, burn, and destroy. Don’t worry about them when writing; we all have junk on the brain, just kill them in edit.
Today’s exercise: Your character is stuck in a large tree and not sure how they got there. There is a toddler on the ground sleeping and it is about to rain.
Word Count (at least 500).
Word Count (at least 500).
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