Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Writing Tips

I've decided to occasionally post some tips that have helped me out in my writing. I hope by presenting these, they might help others. I don't profess to have come up with these tips, but I feel they're important enough to pass along. Without further ado, here are my first few writing tips.

--Sit down and write. In theory, this is the simplest rule of all. Otherwise, how would you ever get any words down? How would you ever finish your story? This can be, though, one of the hardest things for some writers to do. It's daunting to realize you need to pour your soul out on the page. A writer needs to get over that, however, and get the words on the page. Sit down, pick up your pen (or open your word processor), and start writing. Whether you have an outline or not is irrelevant for this tip. Get the words down!

--Don't forget to freewrite liberally. Freewriting can be used in a number of different ways. If you need to get into a rhythm and flow before you start on your day's work, freewrite until you're ready. If you're stuck in a tricky scene, freewrite possible solutions. If you don't know what sort of story you want to start on next, freewrite ideas. In all of these exercises, and more, freewriting will help focus your writing.

--My last tip for today is a bit quirky. I've recently discovered this one works for me. If I'm writing a story or scene in my novel, I sometimes get stuck even though I know what comes next. How do I say it? Why doesn't it come out the way I want? If I pick up a pen with different color ink (I'm one of those strange people who still writes longhand), for some reason it jars my brain and the words flow again. You can try this in your word processor, too. Try writing the next few paragraphs in a different font or color. I'm guessing the change of appearance on the otherwise bland page (esthetically, of course, not your word choice) brings a feeling of fun to your brain. (Don't forget to go back and change the font and color to your story's default!) Whatever the reason, it works for me, and it just might work for you.

There you go, three tips on helping you write. I wouldn't share these with you if they didn't work for me, so I hope they help. I'll bring some more tips up in future posts. Until next time, keep reading and/or writing.