More elements of style

Had a good day yesterday, just writing whatever and however but slowly working my way through the plan. I’ve found that it even works better for me if I leave spaces where I feel a bit bored or de-motivated – like today when I found I just couldn’t face going through a bit of dialogue. Instead of getting stuck in a rut, I just moved on to the next bit (which I really wanted to write) knowing that I can work on that bit of dialogue later.

My strategy for dealing with the chaos of my first draft is going to be based on what I found from the books I looked through on Friday.

I’m going to aim for:

Directness. Instead of telling readers  how something happened, or what someone felt, I’m going show it through actions and dialogue – or at least aim to do that 90% of the time.

Simplicity. Next to being direct is being simple. Just tell it how it is – leave out anything that’s not completely necessary. And not to overdo things – I’ve got a tendency to want to ram stuff home, when it detracts from the story.

Readability. What really annoys me is not being able to read something aloud – sentences that seem ok when you scan them with your eyes suddenly trip you up when you try to read them out loud.

Of course, all this is going to be much easier in theory than in practice! But at least knowing that I’ve got some idea of how I’m going to fix the chaos at the end is keeping my interal critic quiet (so far) and actually letting me get on with writing.


1 Comment

Filed under Anxiety, Language, Motivation, Writing

One response to “More elements of style

  1. writinggb

    Sounds like a great plan to me. It helps to set some guidelines to quell the critic. I especially like how you are not worrying about leaving something out. I mean, honestly, it’s not like our first drafts have to go to the publisher! There’s time to fill in gaps and change things. Who says we have to write straight through, in order?

    How often do you write? Do you start in a particular fashion every time (I mean with a favorite mug filled with favorite hot drink…or by re-reading what you left off with last time)?

    I am having a great deal of trouble getting back to writing my grandma’s book. Having left off in chapter seven the week before she died, I can’t seem to get back to it. I’m wondering if maybe I should let myself go back to the beginning nad rewrite some of what I’ve written, just to get back into the book.

    I didn’t want to revise at this point becasue I think I really need to finish the cpomplete manuscript and then go back and see how I need to reshape it. It’s going to be really long, and I’m afraid if I keep going back to what’s written, I will end up getting stuck second-guessing my text and stalling.

    Any advice? You seem to have found a way out of your writer’s block!

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