Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Writing on a Diet

Live your dream and write right, it's what we writer's do. Learn from your mistakes and move on. ~joni
Well I don’t really need a diet, I’m thin by nature. But my words might need a little exercising. What I mean is, words are worth their weight in gold. If used wisely and correctly, every single word you use will compliment the other.

It’s like that nice little black purse complimenting the dress and heels. When we use one word for a sentence it will compliment the others and in this way our writing will take shape and form. It’s like building muscle mass within the words.

So how can we put our writing on a diet? I can go through many people’s writings, find too many if’s, and’s, and or’s; weighty words that have no use being in a sentence, too many adverbs or maybe the use of big words, that make you sound smart, but have no place in the story or the sentence.

We shape our sentences into paragraphs. If a paragraph is not solid it will appear as a floppy disc, just dangling in the wind. Firm up your writing with words that are strong and words that need to be in the sentence to carry it along. I strongly recommend having a thesaurus on hand. Let’s say you can’t think of a word, it has been alluding you to no end. Look us a similar word in the thesaurus and surely you’ll find a word in equal strength as the one you were looking for, or even a better word with muscle.

When you have a writing group behind you, it helps a lot because they can sometimes see things that you can’t. Lets say you’ve read your work, it is perfect to you, you post it in your workshop and someone says, “Hey, maybe lose this or that. Restructure this or that.” Their eyes are seeing something that maybe you did not see. That is why we have second drafts and third, fourth,etc., etc.

So I’m here to tell you to put your writing on a diet. No the first draft isn’t supposed to be perfect, it is supposed to be you, getting your story out on paper. Your second draft, you’re going to trim here and there, to make it appear exercised, so to speak. I would advise not posting a first draft for your workshop, because when they see all the mistakes and errors, or a weighted piece of work, they’re going to pick your work apart making you feel insufficient as a writer.

Why not post your best work and let them see you shine as a writer. So they pick it apart and see things that you didn’t. This is where you’re going to add, delete, walk away with a feeling of security and move on. Write Right, that’s what I always say.


Stormcrow said...

Good advice!

June said...

Excellent advice, Joni!

As the line from the movie (FINDING FORRESTER) says: Write the draft with your heart, and revise with your head.

(Or something close to this!)


Take care,

joni said...

I am not exempt from writing too wordy. Sometimes I can be over emphasizing even in my first draft. Good thing we have second and third (4th,5th,6th) drafts. This way I can eliminate the Tolkienesque wordiness. lol

Thanks for popping in!:-)