Archive for writing

Writing: Just Getting Started, by L

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2012 by experimentswithreason

Getting started is often the hardest part of the writing process. We can feel hindered by many things, from the obvious (lack of ideas, not enough time) to the more subtle (lack of confidence, too many ideas). Thankfully, there are things we can do to diminish, if not completely banish, all of them.

As with any mental state, it’s a good idea to first take a step back, and identify what you feel the issue to be. Ask yourself questions, and don’t afraid to be honest.

  • Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to write?
  • Do you suffer from a lack of ideas or, conversely, too many?
  • Are you plagued by distractions?
  • Are you procrastinating?
  • Is your motivation lacking, and is this for the project, or your faith in your abilities?
  • Do you worry that whatever you write won’t be liked, or that it’s nothing new?
  • Do you simply feel like you don’t know how to say what you want to say?

These common situations can be traced to either a personal root or an external root. The important thing is to take a positive, proactive approach to both: always keep your eyes on the prize and remember that you are trying to get better at writing. Let’s tackle them.

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An Overview: Editing Your Fiction, by L

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by experimentswithreason

I pride myself on being a great editor. I am not ashamed to say that I am an absolute perfectionist when it comes to proofreading/copyediting, particularly my own work. Many pages have died by drowning in red ink or graphite, or the swift, final stroke of the ‘Backspace’ key.

Most of this happens simultaneously with the creating, to where I hardly notice I’m doing it. I edit as I go – we all do, to a certain extent. Given encouragement and ‘tips and tricks’, these skills can easily be refined to serve us well not just with fiction, but any piece of writing, from a quick email to a prospective employer to a note left for our spouse, to an evaluative report for that project at work or a personal journal entry.

I do it because I am a creature of pride. I think errors in my writing reflect badly on me as a person. I am afraid people will think I’m an idiot if they see a misspelling or consistenency error, or a slob if they can’t tell where my sentences end or find one space too many. But mostly, I do it because I am obsessed – as any love has a degree of obsession – with my writing being the best it can possibly be.

I’ll probably go into more detail later on specific aspects of self-editing, but I thought it’d be a good idea to pass on twelve things that help me, and that have helped others when they’ve asked me to look at something. They encompass common-sense areas to check in-text, out-of-text management hints, and areas I frequently pick up on in others’ writing, and I hope you find them to be a good starting place.

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