Reader Wednesdays

What Im reading now

Still gleaning some sound advice from James Scott Bell’s  The Art of War for Writers (fiction writing strategies, tactics, and exercises)

Reminders as I write:

We all have our strong, and not so strong writing tricks, habits and patterns. And we are all trying to become better writers, no matter what our level of experience. We need to expand and stretch in our craft, try new things to enrich our writing.  Bell tells us: Decide what tactics you want to keep at the front of your mind as you write. Keep a list of these reminders with you during writing time. These will change as your writing changes/develops.

Here’s my current list:

THE BIG PICTURE= Remember to look at how the little scenes feed into the whole story; don’t go tangent crazy

DIG DEEPER =  the first draft is OK for simplified, clichéd descriptions, but I need to dig deeper for the perfect word/phrase to paint the precise picture (go easy on the adverbs)

ACTIVE = change those passive verbs to active! >>Anyone have references or exercises they can recommend?

NO TEARS IN THE WRITER…= no tears in the reader – infuse each scene with strong, deep emotions. Stop and reflect first person experiences to bring emotion and truth to the scene.

What are you reading? What are you learning?


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Filed under Advice, books, Reader Wednesdays

3 responses to “Reader Wednesdays

  1. tgayer

    Very interesting post and especially since I am editing my current WIP and find I am doing something similar- only I think it may be easier as you said – to have it written down or place in front of you as a constant reminder. Yup Big picture, dig deeper, active not passive and Emotion!
    Thanks heaps 🙂 Tee

  2. tgayer

    Hi Mary Jo,
    My current genre is YA Urban Fantasy and I have a few projects on the go in literary, fantasy and historical fantsay. My one complete MW is YA Urban Fantasy too and that’s doing the submission rounds at the moment.
    My method has been created around reading onthe internet and a couple of How to Books -which I have never been able to follow religously.
    I write the first draft in a drunken haze – (drunk with the fury of writing- believe me imbibing dulls the senses for me at any rate)
    I go back and correct grammar and spelling so its ready for my Beta readers.
    Then I go back again and examine each paragraph for ways to say things better, to use my voice better, to eliminate all those naughty words (feel, felt, just, ‘ly etc) synonyms that would fit
    At the same time I keep a track of character traits and habits they develop -( sorry I have never been able to do a character sketch before I begin my WIP, my characters develop as I write- they tell me who they are, it’s incredibly difficult for me to figure out who my characters are before I stare at my lovely blank page/screen.)
    Then its time for my CP’s to have a go. All crits back and give it it one more once over- while my critters have my MS is the time I put it away and start full on another project. It keeps me from thinking too much about the work then I remember too much and don’t enjoy the final edits.
    SO that the way I roll. Its by no means a polished process but it works for me.
    The one thing I have learned is to trust the voices in your head, not the ones outside of it. My first MS looked wuite like it was becoming some mongrel minx of romans, suspense and fantasy when all it wanted was to be just YA UF. I wasted months faffing around until I ended up back where I started – you guessed it YA UF
    So tell me more about the way you roll
    Wow- and I learned something about my writing process today too- I DO have some semblance of organised method.
    🙂 Tee

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