Thursday, 27 January 2011

W is for Write, Just Write.

My advice to any aspiring author is simple: Just write. If you can, everyday. And don’t be too hard on yourself.

Why do I recommend this course of action? Because they say practice makes perfect. And based on personal experience it goes a long way to exercising the muscle that’s needed to produce creative pieces. It does not matter if it is any good to start with. The whole idea is to train the mind to relax and empty out the negativity so that creativity can flow. Of course I am unlikely to ever be a perfectionist, because I think perfectionism strikes down very good writers and lays them low. But that’s only my personal opinion.

If an idea has developed in my head I try to capture the essence as fast as I can, then I have a chance to rework or rewrite the piece at a later date, after it has rested, and this I am discovering can be a rewarding experience. But I used to think rewriting was difficult however I think my personal barriers have become easier to get around.

Currently, I am working on several chapters that I know I can add more relevant detail too. Now that the basic idea and plot has been shaped. I can see holes where bits of missing action are needed and a little more attention to detail will help develop the plot. I can hear when I need to change a ‘tell’ into a ‘show’ by adding dialogue. Sometimes it almost jumps of the page screaming at me… and I can see that sometimes my scant regard for location leaves the story floating in the ether so to speak.

Several weeks ago I was asked to stretch a chapter by at least three or four pages! And to add more sexual tension! Initially I was shocked, and then bamboozled, because I didn’t think I could rework a section to that extent. But based on the feedback I was given at the session I was surprised how easy it was to expand and it all worked out in the end. The suggestions and advice helped me to visualise what was missing and how to include a longer run in to and up to the dramatic turning point.

I hope it has worked. Will find out soon.

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