Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Write drunk, edit sober - Ernest Hemingway

I have at times heeded that advice! I'm not a big drinker, so drunk may be an exaggerated description of my state of mind when creating a first draft. I can say that I try to write my first draft quickly, on paper and with little care for grammatical accuracy. I rarely create on my computer. Technology is a marvel and a tremendous weapon in my writers armoury, but it saps my creative juices dry, if I overly use it. I have spent too many hours editing on a computer to see it as anything more than a check and balance for my developing work of art. So Hemmingway was right. Wear two hats. One is colourful and frayed at the edges from too much sun. I explore the world wearing my creative hat, searching for new places to inspire and nurture my imagination. My second hat is an open cap, worn by many of the newspaper editors of the 1950s, as they rushed to get their final copy to the printers. Remember this advice and you will write novels you care about and believe in and you may even write them quicker!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Writing is like a gym workout

Writing is like a gym workout. Your writing muscle needs to be exercised to get stronger. Write your words as if they are reps. Write paragraphs as if they are the sets of your different words. Remember to practice sets that exercise all the muscles. Sets on character development. Sets on world building. Sets on dialogue. Sets on...well you get the picture. Combine all of these sets so that your pages become the daily workouts. Take that mind set and use your laptop as a machine, like the one at the gym. Exercise steadily and on occasion push the boundaries. Write a little more than you usually do, write about new interests, write on issues that challenge you. At the end of your workout rest, reward and recover. Like the body, your mind needs time to recuperate and rebuild.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Better writing tips

This is very good advice. I have a number of manuscripts that I wrote in the last year and I refuse to send them to publishers before I have carried out a number of reviews/edits. It is true that a writer gets too close to their work, often missing the most obvious errors. But if the work is left for a month or more, you will read it with 'fresh eyes', freed from the natural bias all writers have for their newly written novel.