Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reading vs Writing

When should a wannabe writer, like myself, stop reading books on writing and start writing?

Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing Great Short StoriesI thought I could do both but the more I read, the more I realize I might be wasting my time writing. There is so much I don't know, so much I need to learn. Every time I learn something important, I want to go back and start my story over.

For instance, while procrastinating writing, I went through some old writing books and found a real gem: Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories by Margaret Lucke (1998). After reading a few chapters, I was inundated with ideas to make my story better. Unfortunately, they all require major reconstruction of my characters and plot.

I'm unsure now. Should I finish the first draft and make the changes later? Or should I restructure it and then write the first draft?

Writing has become such a doubt-filled experience these last few weeks that the only time my brain will relax and create is late at night while I'm trying to fall asleep. Probably because my subconcious knows there's no chance I'll actually get up and write anything down. And by morning, it's gone.

I'm done thinking about writing. If I stop reading about writing, I'll stop learning. So, I'm back in the chair tonight and ready to write. And I'm still reading that great book on short story writing. It may take me a lot longer to finish my work-in-progress (WIP) since I'll have to do a lot of rewriting, but it's not a waste of time.

Writing is never a waste of time.

What I write now may not be usable, but it's practice. And almost every book I read or writer I talk to says the best way to become a writer is to follow these steps:

  1. Write.

  2. Write some more.

  3. Keep on writing.

So, tonight I begin again.

(butt in chair, hands on keyboard).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Pile of Words

I wrote over 1300 words last night. Seems like that's all they are: a pile of words. No style or flow but it felt good. I even resisted editing as I wrote. That urge to go back and edit is my biggest roadblock to finishing anything I write. It's a constant battle.

Does it get any easier?

Favorite lines:
Jade eyes sparkled defiantly as he closed in on her. Full lips ripe with natural color made him want to lick them to see if they tasted as sweet as they looked.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ready, Set, WRITE!

I'm ready to write the first draft of my short story/novella.

Why am I so nervous?

I've created two characters I like. I've found a premise and several themes. I've plotted out eight chapters, I know all the actions that have to take place in each. I'm a little vague on the romance parts, the actual falling in love details, but I'm hoping those will come to me as I write or can be edited in in a later draft.

Doesn't sound right does it? Especially since I'm writing a romance novella. Romance should be the main plot and everything else background.

I can't decide if this is a legitimate reason to go back and redo my outline or if it's just my Procrastinator Demon trying to convince me to put off writing again.

No, I'm officially entering the writing stage. I can't believe how scared and excited I feel.

Here I go!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Life Premise

Creating a premise for my story made me think about what the premise for my life would be.

A few possibilities:
  • I write therefore I am.
  • A life lived in fear is a life not lived.
  • Believe you are and you will be.
  • If you never try, you'll never succeed.
  • Procrastination leads to stagnation.

Okay, now I'm depressed. This is making me think of all the things I wanted to do in my life and never got around to.

Like write.

The best thing to do would be gather what's left of my self-worth and go do at least one of those things.

Like write.

So, I think I'll make some cinnamon toast and hot chocolate and curl up with a good book! That will comfort me and make everything all better.

(And that's exactly how I got to where I am today: chubby and unpublished.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Premise, Theme and Moral

I bought a new book on writing mainly for the chapter on how to tell the difference between  premise, theme and moral. The book is The Art and Craft of Storytelling: A Comprhensive Guide to Classic Writing Techniques by Nancy Lamb (Writer's Digest Books).

I know, I don't need to read another book on how to write. I need to write!

But . . .

I've always had trouble coming up with a theme or premise for my stories. Truthfully, I don't even know the difference between the two. And Ms. Lamb states:
"Ideally, you should establish the premise of your story before you even begin writing. If you can do this, you will save yourself untold creative angst."
Less angst is good, right?