Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bonus Writing Tip

This one is more just logistics.

If you type a letter wrong, and delete it, and type it again, and delete it, and type it again, and delete and type it again ...

Try hitting "Shift" before you retype it, if the problem is that you don't want a lower case letter.

(actual event taken from the actual life of an actual writer)

Handy Writing Tips

1. Reading Angela Hunt's blog every day for a year won't get your novel written.  It will teach a whole lot about novel writing, but it won't get any of your actual words on your actual page.  Took me a whole year to figure that one out, so I'm passing it on to you.

2.  Reading every adult novel written by Angela Hunt, Nancy Rue, Kathryn Mackel and Lisa Samson will not get any of your actual words on your actual page either.  It will also teach a whole lot about novel writing, and if you read mindfully, you will learn a whole lot about your own goals as a writer, and what it is that you want your actual words to convey, should you ever get past your own crippling self-doubt and do that whole actual words/actual page thing.

3.  Believing every stupid lie your insecurity tells you will not get your novel written, and may - I give you this warning freely - turn you into a knitter.

I'm a mantra girl.  I love words, and when things are tough, I am apt to find a well-turned phrase to memorize and cling to and take out at three o'clock in the morning to look at and lean on.

So here are some of the things that got me through the first draft of my novel.

1. Murray Pura, in a novel writing workshop that I only went to because I was quite sure I couldn't write a novel and I may as well go listen to someone talk about it to prove to myself I was right - he talked for an hour and I remember two sentences.

Sentence One:  You can't edit a blank page.

Sentence Two, delivered at the end of the session, with his huge hands swirling the air as he spoke:  So, go, and spread the page with shining.

2. (source unknown) Don't get it right, get it written.  (see the homonyms?  oh how I love homonyms. Not sure if I love them enough to spell the word properly ...)

Apparently it's a short list.

Please don't ask me how to get the second draft done, once you've gotten all sorts of reader feedback, etc, but have no actual deadline.  The two things I've tried so far (texting a mentor until she changes her cell number, and blogging about writing) have been less than successful ...


(ETA: YES, Blogger, texting is a word.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

*whoosh* goes the summer

I saw some teens all dressed up fancy last night and thought "Grad."  and then I realized it was September and either a super early grad or a super late one.
"Homecoming" corrected the savvy American I'm with.

A man on the plane talking about his children said his twins were born September 1. 
"Oh, so they're almost 5" I said.
He gave me that look I sometimes get, the one where my mental competence is called into question.  "No, they just turned 5."

I'm not keeping up.

My son spent the summer sleeping and eating and is now taller and thinner than he was when the summer began.  I have to resist the urge to rub my eyes, blink, and look again when he walks into a room.  The change was much less dramatic with the first child.

I spent August knitting a blanket for a wedding gift, and reading poetry and prose for the magazine who lets me be on their editorial board.  I shouldn't read the submission letters, but I do.  Here's a wee tip about submission letters:

I don't need to know anything about you other than a) the title of what you are submitting b) a few of your previous publications (a FEW.  Three or four, not a full page) and c) a BRIEF bio in which you resist the urge to be cute about yourself.

That is all.