I have no idea if this is true as I haven’t been outside this morning. But yesterday afternoon the wind was blowing and cold and the people at Lowe’s were moving flowers into a heated room in case we had another freezing night. AND it’s supposed to snow.
In your work, look for ways to trim unnecessary words. Here are three examples of ways to clean up your creative writing.
~ was-ing words can become one word. I was running = I ran
~ that can almost always go as well as well, just, very, ly words, adjectives
~ Cheri Earl taught me no need to use start or begin (unless starting a car or lawn mower etc). I started running = I ran. “Let the action happen,” Cheri says.
Words are power. But you an overdo amazing writing. Many a good novel has been ruined by the words that make it up.
Remember, less is more.
You can read where this phrase came from below (if you can get past all the ads).
Write 25 first lines for your novel.
Jot them down quickly (you already have a first line, and you’re working on a book, so you know where you’re going–this will be an easy exercise), a minute or less per line.
That first line is a promise to your reader. It can show voice, hint at character and plot, show mood and it certainly should grab the reader.
So what are you doing with YOUR book opening?
Remember, Richard Peck (LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO, A YEAR DOWN YONDER) says, “You are no better than your first line.”
Once Richard read the first few pages of my novel that is under consideration right now. “You don’t have your best first line,” he said. He was right. I chopped off the first paragraph AND learned a valuable lesson from a great writer.
In free verse, and taking no more than 1000 words, rewrite your novel.
Remember forward movement, characters, and use words with power. Find out what’s most important in your novel and put it in this Spark’s Notes Version.
If you need, take a few days to do this writing.
Then ask yourself, Can I do without certain things that I’ve added? Does everything I write move the story forward? Are there unnecessary characters? Does my character burn time? What can I do without? Do I go off on unnecessary trips with my character? Is my writing too flowery? What words that carry no weight can I throw out?
Really knowing your story can help you write the best novel.
Hopefully, we’ll hear from Ann Dee Ellis. Her posts always make me so happy. And Ann Dee is a part of my writing prompts/goal today. We work together on novels, we read each other’s novels, visit each other’s classes, share this blog, brainstorm together. We even say ‘Hello!’ to each other in the hallway at church. I’m lucky to have such a fantastic, amazing writer/partner/friend to work with.
Find a friend who you can be accountable to. If that friend is a writer, set goals and challenges for yourself or each other, and make a day and time to discuss goals you’ve set and reached.
Write a scene together, three sentences at a time. You write the first three sentences, she writes the second, back and forth until you are done. Do it for your project and your partner’s project. Go for 750 words working together. Try to follow the leads and clues left by your partner. Don’t be afraid to have fun, but do move the story forward. And don’t be afraid to surprise your friend with a challenge as you write.
What do you learn about your style? Your story? Your working with another writer?
Nine Questions We May Explore Later
What is the scariest thing your character must do?
How will you prepare him to do it?
How is your main character like the antagonist?
How does that make the main character feel knowing he’s like the antagonist?
Your main character wants to change one thing about you. What is it?
What one thing has surprised you about this book?
About your main character?
About you as you’ve written this book?
I just challenged one of my writing friends to this writing activity.
Now I will challenge you all.
At the beginning of the day,
before you write,
set a timer for three minutes, then write the first line of a new work.
A new picture book, a new short story, a new YA novel, memoir, poem, piece of nonfiction, etc.
Just one line.
Keep each one on a 3X5 card.
If emotions comes along with that line, jot them down on the back. A few ideas follow?Put those notes on the back, too. When the timer beeps, you stop writing and go to your WIP.
Put the 3X5 card next to your computer and watch the pile grow.
Let’s do this until WIFYR on June 12. We’ll get about 30 starts. Take off a day or two, if you want (I try to take the weekend).
On your mark, get set,