Posts Tagged ‘writing partners’

Five Indispensible Things Writers Can’t Live Without

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Do you feel you’d like to write more often, but can’t squeeze in enough time? Yearn to write better?  Feel body pain due to the time you spend at the computer or other work?

Over the years of writing, I’ve discovered some tidbits.  They save time, help me write better, and one even helps my repetitive body pain.

    1. Dictionary.com/Thesaurus.com 

 Quick, easy and free! What’s not to love about this site? 

  1. The Synonym Finder by J. J. Rodale

Synonym Finder

The best thesaurus ever!  If you like one more, let me know. 

  1. Which Word When?  The Indispensable Dictionary of 1,500 Commonly Confused Words by Paul Heacock

Which Word When

Although the edition I own is from 1989, you may find one updated or different book you like in bookstores.  For those of you who shop online, a physical site is best for you really must peruse it.  Otherwise you’ll start collecting various books nearly like the one you crave, but none of them quite right.

  1. Fisher Space Pen.

 I confess.  I don’t write the rough drafts of my chapters on a machine. I handwrite my first draft on slanted knees. 

Not only do I benefit from this change of position, I climb more stairs to reach my comfy old lady’s chair or I get fresh air outside on my lounger. But the main reason I write by hand is I’m “freed” through the act of handwriting.   Ideas flow, where they might get bogged down when I face a screen.   

However, a regular pen won’t do it.  A Fischer Space Pen will write any way, any time, any where!  Its description: “A pen that can write in the air, under water, upside down, over grease, any angle.”  (You might find another brand that does the job, too.)  

Try various methods and places to write.  Which works best for you? 

  1. A writing group or writing partner.

Probably the most important item on this list.  It won’t break your pocketbook either.  My writing partner and I meet every two weeks to share our work, discuss craft, and support one another.  My writing group meets once a month to do the same.  I’m fortunate every member is a good writing with terrific critiquing skills. 

Writing Prompts:

  1. Switch your writing habits.  If you’ve been composing only on a computer, try writing by hand.  Give it some time and see if this allows your mind to wander and discover the right words, more depth of character, and fresh ideas.  If you’ve been writing by hand, give it a go on a computer or typewriter.  Discover what works for you!
  2. Switch places.  Do you write in a home office?  Try a park, café, or your backyard.  Maybe an airport, the library, or your car will spark your best work. 

Park

Cafeairport

Park3. Do you always start writing from the beginning?  Attempt your next project by starting in the middle, or towards the end.  Begin with the major conflict, an emotional scene, or a hidden secret.  Do any of these propel you forward more than starting at chapter one?

4. Write at different times of the day for a week.  Have you learned anything about yourself?

 

 

 

 

Finding the “Thread” in your Book Project

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

I’ve been working on the latest book of mine , researching and writing as I go along and I am very near the depth, the tie that binds all those loose threads together, and I know I’m close but I feel like I’m blindfolded; I’m waving my arms around, grasping wildly in the air for that thread.

My writing partner and I meet over breakfast to read and talk about our work, and I tell her I know I’m getting close, but it’s so frustrating not to find the words I need.  Once I get those words in a sentence I know the other clues will fall into place.   I feel like a detective trying to solve a mystery.  What am I missing? 

She tells me what she likes about the book.  Then it hits me.  The words come out in the sentence I need. 

“That’s it!” she says.  

“Thank you,” I say. 

Without our conversation, I wouldn’t have found it until much, much later . . . if at all. 

It reminds me when I was compiling The ABCs of Writing for Children, Thacher Hurd said that when an author writes a book, it’s really a community effort.  Sometimes the author has a writing group, a writing partner, an agent, one or more editors . . . so that by the time the book is finished, the community has created the art. 

I also recall other authors telling me it took years to discover their themes, or plots, or characters.  Time is your friend.  So don’t despair if it doesn’t all fall into place right away.  You may need to bounce ideas off of people.  And then you need it to simmer in your thought process for a while. 

The next day, when I awake, I get the next layer of depth.  It falls right into place with the words I had found yesterday.  Now I feel shock that it took so long for me to discover what was with me all along.  A past which was buried so deeply it didn’t occur me to even consider it.

And now, I forget who said it originally, I shall open a vein.