Wednesday, April 16, 2014
More LIAOTP Writing Tips
I saw this quote on Goodreads and it seems to echo exactly what my Leave It All On the Page Writing Tips are all about, so I had to share. I don't think we can hear this enough:
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time...give it, give it all, give it now. Annie Dillard Happy 69th birthday, Annie Dillard! The Pulitzer Prize winner has written everything from found poetry to a nonfiction account of the time that she and Allen Ginsberg took a delegation of Chinese writers to Disneyland in the 1980s.
Here's my previous post. If you want to see the first five tips, just scroll down:
A few weeks ago I posted the first five of my Leave it All On the Page
Writing Tips. This week, I am continuing with #6 through #10. Of course there are many more, and the ones I've listed are nothing but common sense--which has taken me half-a-lifetime to learn, LOL.
#6 Highlight all WAS words - change as many as possible to active verbs
#7 Try to eliminate passive dialog tags such as he said, she said. Most dialog tags are completely unnecessary--an action sentence serves to show who is speaking.
#8 Read aloud! Mistakes jump off the page when you read your work aloud.
#9 Watch for repeated words. If you seem to be using certain words over and over, simply go to FIND and highlight that word throughout the story--you may be surprised. I always am.
#10 Allow a few trusted friends to read your first draft -- but only after the first draft is complete. Just as too many cooks can spoil the broth, too many opinions can also ruin an unfinished manuscript. The best thing to do--I have found--is to ask those trusted friends to read with certain things in mind. In other words, instruct them what to look for such as grammar or chronology. Otherwise, you often wind up with I LOVE IT! Or something else just as kind but unhelpful. =)
Afterthought: I've left off the most important tip of all: READ. EVERYTHING.
If you aren't a reader, how can you possibly be a writer?