Sep 072018
 

This week I read 2k to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron, and I pretty much wanted to high-five the author every other page. It is so rare to read a book about writing that gets to the practical advice right away and also presents it in a way that is easy to understand. It is also a remarkably short book which is a big plus for me as way too many books about writing are suspiciously filled with filler. Every page is useful advice and the part on improving your editing has literally changed my life.

But because the book is so short, I really can’t get into the advice without giving the book away. In short, I would say the advice is to become more conscious of where your story is going, and how much you are enjoying it before you get to the nitty-gritty of writing. The author breaks this advice into steps that are easy to follow and are even easier to add to your method of writing. she’s not asking you to change how you write, as much as she is asking you to take a moment to prep before hand.

I suspect those writers who work without outlines and fly by the seat of their pants might recoil for this idea, but I still urge you to purchase this cheap book for the advice on editing, which is priceless.

So yeah, even though I have writing for close over twenty years, this book was really helpful to me and I think it might help you as well.

Aug 242018
 

Writer, producer and awesome human being, John Rogers, had this to say on Twitter recently.

“. . . it is perfectly acceptable, when working on a scene that vexes you, to write “DUMBEST VERSION” along the top of the page and start from there. As I, a human who has been writing professionally for 25 years, just did. Give yourself permission to suck.”

It is truly great advice. I have lost count of how many times I have stared at the blank page, not willing to write a scene or story because it was just not right in my head. There were problems. I didn’t quite knpow how the characters would have sex. I didn’t like the color of someone’s hair. For whatever reason, I wasn’t willing to commit my idea to words because the words weren’t perfect yet.

Which is a bullshit reason to not write something cause let me tell you, even if you think you have all the right words to put down, you’re going to change those precious little babies in the rewrite. The most perfect ideal concept in your head is not going to be perfect once it gets on the page. There will be rewrites. Go ahead and put that shit on the page.

I have been writing since the 90’s and I still struggle with this. We all do. Sometimes it is not even perfectionism at work, it can be simply having no fucking idea what happens next. That’s cool, you still write something down. The act of writing your inferior idea down is going to give you very strong feelings about what is wrong with it. From there, you can craft the better idea.

My mental trick for coming up with the “Dumbest version’ is what I call the campfire scenario. Imagine you are sitting around a campfire with your friends. They are trading stories and it is your turn. You have to say because your friends won’t let you pass. In that situation, I will spit out something. If it sucks, who cares? The next person in line will tell a story and your blunder will be forgotten.

But in the meantime, you got it started.