Thursday, June 26, 2008


Write it, read it, revise it ….

Okay now we know that we WANT to be a writer, the passion has been fired up and we’re ready to roll, now what? Well your first step is to write something. What? Where do I get idea’s? That’s the easy part. All across the internet you can find writing prompts some good, some not so good, and some daggone awful!

Writing prompts are simple sentences or pictures that you look at and write, let’s say 500 words or less. You then expand on those five-hundred words that you wrote to make it either a fictional short story, if you’re lucky it may become a novel, or maybe even a non-fiction article idea will surface. Note that not all prompts will elucidate a creative writing tale. This is why you need the discipline to do many many exercises and prompts! (but you’re a writer, you can handle it.)

You’ve written the words now what? Well, you need to read them, OUT LOUD! I can’t emphasize this one enough! When you read your work out loud (it’s okay, no one will think you’re crazy) you will HEAR what is wrong in the sentence structure, the dialogue or the paragraph. Take note of what you’ve noticed. Is it clumsy? Is the dialogue not sounding believable enough? Is that comma giving you a problem?

I always use my MSWord to do my work with. On occasion when the computer isn’t available (usually for poetry) I actually use the old-time pen and paper. Either way I have a yellow highlighter within my reach. (MSWord has one or there is one in my hand.)

Now we’ve written our words, have them compiled into what looks like a possible story, now what do I do? It is time to let it rest (for a day at least) then we come back to it and revise it.

What is a revised piece of work? It is where you’ve gone over it with a fine-toothed comb, highlighted all the spots that are not working out for you and you fix them!

Please be diligent and check for spelling errors. Grammatical errors can be picked out by your group, but not taking the time to FIND your spelling errors (sorry MSWord won’t do the work for you) makes you appear to be either a hurried writer or a lazy writer.

It is helpful if you have a study group (there are many online writing study groups or at your local library.) Writer’s Village University is a wonderful source for my inspiration. You might find another one useful to you. Maybe you seek out in-depth student/instructor assistance? Maybe you desire a one-on-one mentor? Whichever you choose for the writer in YOU is what will work best for you.

Now get writing! Do your best and make it shine!

Within every writer is a magical world just waiting to be explored. Remember that Columbus didn’t discover America just by looking out at the sea! ~Joni

1 comment:

June said...

Loads of helpful information here, Joni!

Another thing a writer might try is to have someone else read the story out loud. It sometimes helps to hear the story out loud from another voice. Another option to this is to use a voice program, like TextAloud where you copy and paste your story into the application and a voice reads it back to you. (NOTE: A similiar option used to be available on Mac word processors, but I've not used a Mac in a while, so I don't know if they still offer this feature or not).

Take care,