Thought for the day: Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself, and celebrate writing. [Melinda Haynes]
It's hard to believe, but here we are, dipping our toes into yet another brand new year. YOWZA! As we embark on this journey of new beginnings, let's hope we're all wise enough and fortunate enough to make the best of the year ahead of us. Cheers!
Today, like the first Wednesday of every month, is IWSG Day, when writers all over the world share their problems, air concerns, and celebrate successes. As always, thanks go to ninja writer Alex Cavanaugh for coming up with this nifty idea. To join the group and see links to other IWSG posts, please go here
Woo HOO! I don't have a single thing to complain about this month. Slowly but surely, we're crawling back from the flu, and my brain is starting to hum like a well-oiled rusty machine again. That means the words are finally starting to flow again, and I hope to get back into the groove again very soon. Every word I scribble in my notebook and type on the computer may not be keepers, but like Jodi Picault said, You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.
I do have a couple of other things to share, though. This first thing is painfully obvious to me now, so I'm probably the last writer on earth to figure it out, but just in case I'm not, here goes. When you sit down to write each day, don't complete the scene. That's right. Stop writing when you've still got a good head of steam and know exactly where you want to go next. That way, when you pick it up again the next day, you're revved up and ready to go. I've discovered that if I complete a scene, it's much more difficult to get going again. It's not quite as bad as coming up with the perfect opening sentence and paragraph for chapter one, but it's certainly in the same ballpark.
The other thing? It's a book by Don McNair: Editor-Proof Your Writing. Good stuff! (And I'm not just saying that because I already ascribed to most of his guidelines about writing clear prose, either.) Seriously. No matter where you are in your writing journey, there's a lot of helpful stuff in this book.
One last thing before going on to this month's question. Next month, I'll be (gulp) attending a book club for the first time... to talk about my book! That's kinda exciting, and kinda scary. It's being held in a private residence, and I have no idea how many members will be there. I've given speeches in front of hundreds of people before with no problems, but I must confess, I'm a tad nervous about how to proceed with this intimate gathering. Any suggestions???
Okay, now on to the question of the month: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?
Seriously, it's not like the writing police are gonna swoop down out of the sky and slap a fine on us or throw us in the pokey if we break any of the traditional rules of writing, but I don't regret knowing the rules... even if I don't always choose to follow them.
In some cases, a strict adherence to rules results in prose that may be technically correct, but also stilted and unnatural-sounding. For example, we all learned it's improper to end a sentence with a preposition, but contorting a sentence with the explicit purpose of avoiding that dangling preposition can result in proper, but barely readable prose.
How about you? Has your creativity ever been stifled by adherence to the rules... or have you always been an artistic rebel?
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.