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Archive for the ‘The Craft’ Category

While rummaging through some boxes of books I had tucked away from my last move, I ran across a copy of The Forest for the Trees, by Betsy Lerner. The first chapter nailed me! I find I cannot focus, that each day a new “voice” or “form” presents itself as how I will write. Some days I want to write a sonnet, others literary prose as fine as the greats. But, while writing more and more, and reading more and more, I find I keep coming back to humor at the base of my writing like flour is used in baking. Maybe Betsy is on to something here … to keep working to find my voice.

Two evenings ago, I came across a little story I started several years ago. I read it and actually laughed out loud at a couple different parts. The writing was terrible. Transitions were poor. But, its pace was nice and had me in a smirk the whole way through. I’ve done a rewrite on the first three single-spaced pages to fix the transitions and I can honestly say, it’s pretty good. Maybe not great, but quite fun and less distracting now that I’ve added a little polish to it.

Anyway, I am trying to find my “voice” … my “form”. Maybe it’s writing with a smirk.

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I woke up this morning with an aura of dread compressing me. And then, it hit me. I wrote nothing of consequence yesterday. A few comments on facebook was the extent of this writer’s work (though, I must admit, some of my facebook snippets are quite witty). Of all the writer’s I’ve read about, every one of them says the same thing, to one degree or another: Write Every Day!

Stephen King has a goal of 2,000 words per day – every day – including holidays. Others write between a start and end time. I have no such organization yet, but I feel the heavy lack of accomplishment by writing nothing. So, new goal:

I will write every day … something … whether it is a continuation of a story I’m working on, or some random prose, or even an attempt at a poem. Certainly, my worst times of writing are still more fun than most everything else I do.

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I’ve decided I need to learn to use more ‘vivid’ verbs. Verbs show action, of course, but action shouldn’t be bland. In this sense, I’m looking at how verbs can be used more like adjectives without settling for the silly adverb!

Bland: Emma walked to her room.
Icky Adverb: Emma lazily ran to her room. (or) Emma ran to her room slowly.
Vivid: Emma meandered to her room. (or) Emma moped to her room.

I think there needs to be a balance here. Sometimes the “to the point” verb is necessary to move the story along without getting too flowery and causing the reader to pause for interpretation. Yet, maybe in rewrite, to change some of the bland to vivid can only serve to improve the reader’s experience.

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