One of the writing tips I’ve heard repeatedly is read, read, read. About a year back I read Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. What an uninspiring title, right? The book had been recommended, so I ploughed through the 900 or so pages and kept repeating to myself, I wish I could write like this. Continue reading “Learning from authors”
I thought writing an 80 000 word manuscript a daunting task, but now I know that’s the easy part. I shared my story with my writing group, and because I made changes from their suggestions, I thought I was almost done.
Now I’m in the middle of yet another edit where my focus is verbs — those boring passive verbs; my favourites I repeat far too often; and ones needed to convey a character’s feelings without spelling it out.
Today, our editor/facilitator announced to our group, “Focus on one thing at a time in an edit,” and I wished everyone had pounded their fists on the table with applause because her advice reminded me, I’m on the right track.
Editing is a daunting task, so don’t try to fix everything at once, and remember my tip from an earlier blog about allowing time in between edits.
I learned this tip from one of our critique facilitators, author, Julie Ferguson, who led our local writing group for decades. Unfortunately (for us) she has since moved cities, but I haven’t forgotten her many gems of advice while editing.
Read aloud. Two things happen when I read aloud. Firstly, I hear what I’ve written more clearly than merely reading in my head. Secondly, when I stumbled on a phrase, it usually means there’s something not quite right with what I’ve written.
One of the key factors for me when editing is time — not time for editing, but time between edits. Often I’m blind to what I’ve written, so by leaving a piece for a week or longer before I read it again, problems become clear. Continue reading “Editing Tips”
On a visit to New Zealand recently, I took over one hundred photos in one day at an important setting in my current manuscript. Many were of signs and haven’t been referred to in the story, but having those photos gave me a choice to choose what would best fit. Continue reading “More on research methods”
I am blessed to live near three writers’ conferences that happen in my area: The well attended Surrey Writers’ Conference; the Burnaby Writers’ Conference; and now a new one was organized, just this past weekend, the Maple Ridge Writers’ Conference. Continue reading “Writers’ Conferences”
I share my work with a writing critique group, but no matter how much I value their input and the help they’ve given me to improve the piece I’ve brought, they don’t know the entire manuscript. Continue reading “You’ve finished your first draft, then what?”