Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Advice for First-Time Writers" by Guest Blogger Judith Marshall

My first novel, Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever, was released in 2009. It took twelve years off-and-on to complete and was professionally edited and revised three times.

Here’s my point: when you start a first draft, you have no idea whether your writing is any good. Most times, your inner critic tells you it stinks! Ignore her. Keep writing. Keep pounding away. Even if the writing does stink, it’s the only path to producing something worthwhile. Writing on a regular basis keeps you from having to start over.

What if you’re not inspired? Or worse, what if you are blocked? Don’t think about the whole story. Think small. Pick a scene or a moment and write about it for fifteen or twenty minutes. Another tactic is to start a paragraph, “I remember…,” and just keep going. Or think about three things you observed in the last few days: a frazzled mother, a homeless person, a conversation you overheard in the super market. Let your imagination go. Maybe you can use some of it in your story.

Remember, writing is about revision. 1st stage – get it down, 2nd stage – flesh it out, 3rd stage – check the flow, 4th stage – polish and fine tune (word choice and syntax), 5th stage – punctuation and line editing, 6th stage – self-dialog. But you have to have something to start with. Write on!

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1 comment:

Avalon Cat Cartoons said...

Thanks for the visit. Have a happy Saturday!