Posts tagged revision
Bored With Your Own Writing

 Have you ever written a passage—or even a whole chapter—then gone back to read it only to discover that it bored you to death? I'd bet so. After all, even the best writers write poorly sometimes. Usually I find this happens after a particularly difficult bit of writing: anything complex or with a lot of detail. You try so hard to get it out and paint an accurate picture that you end up oversharing and your reader (usually also you) ends up falling asleep between the lines. When this happens, you might be tempted to beat yourself up or even to give up, but don't! Use that backspace/delete key without mercy. Go back to the point at which you lost interest, and just cut, cut, cut. There's no shame in starting over, especially when the second try (or third, or fourth)  interests and surprises even the one who wrote it.

Today's Prompt: Dig up an old story you weren't happy with or gave up on. Read it, identify the problems, and then start over. Make it great.

Happy Writing!


The Other Side of Writing (Quote of the Day)

  The foundation of this quote can be traced back much further than Maya Angelou (check out its origins here), but I like her take on things. Easy reading is damn hard writing. It's so true, people have been saying it for centuries. At the same time, however, I wonder if it's always true for everyone, every time.  There are moments in which some force takes me over and the words just come to me, almost like I'm jotting down a dictation rather than actually writing. And sometimes, I read those "easy" scenes and find there's very little that needs changing. But there are other times that each word is a challenge. "And... Then... She... Bought? Purchased? Bartered for?" To top off the ridiculous difficulty, I go back and read only to discover that the last few paragraphs are utter crap. When that happens, I don't even edit. I just scrap and start over.

So I feel like there's something missing from this idea. Easy reading is damn hard writing. But is it really the writing that's hard? I don't know about you, but what I find hard isn't so much the writing as the dedication. We all know what words mean and how to put them together, but when you start a novel or a poem or a kid's book, you make a commitment to create something and make it the best it could possibly be—to finish, to hone it, to sacrifice favorite scenes and lines for the good of the whole, to kill characters you love, to show the good in characters you hate, to spend hours on a chapter only to realize you've taken the wrong direction, to write in past tense for ten chapters only to decide your book would be better in present, to actually implement that change. All of that is hard. And sure, putting words together in a way that sounds good is a challenge. But there's a whole 'nother side to writing that most people don't see. And that's where the real battle begins.

Today's Prompt: Write a short story in which the protagonist succumbs to the conflict. No happy endings.

Happy writing!