I am starting to work in earnest on my upcoming blog series “So You Want To Write A Book.” (or some other wonderfully colorful fictitious title). I think it will be informative and helpful to readers at every stage of their writing.
It will be free, a part of my blog. I may put together a package of worksheets and references and samples and offer that for purchase. Still working on that.
As I put together this series I also did the final read through of my first book. I said final — I HAVE to say final — or I will be nip and tucking this thing for the next 10 years.
This last nip and tuck a few days ago yielded a cut of 243 words. And those were just the same words I used too many times.
You see? We all have positive and negative writing habits that we cannot see. We read and reread and proofread and still miss the bigger picture; a smooth reading ride on the Writing Railroad.
The advice I will share is good for all lengths of writing: novels, novellas, short stories, magazine articles. Memoirs and science fiction. Romance and mystery. It doesn’t matter what you write — you have to proof it with a fine tooth comb.
My comb is always full of hair. Pity.
But that’s what makes the final work worthy. Worthy of publication, of entering into contests, into being a story in a magazine or a column in a newspaper. Clean, entertaining writing.
I am living proof you have to put in the work.
Some may toss off stories like trick-or-treat candy. Maybe they’re that good. If you are that good, I envy you. For it’s not easy to get exactly what you want to say out and down on paper the first time around. The first ten times around.
Practice, practice, practice. Edit and change and stand back and do it again. That’s one of the tips I’m going to share in my blog come Christmas time.
One of my favorite movies is Tombstone. I love Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp. And he has the best line about cleaning up your writing.
“The Cowboys are finished, you understand me?! I see a red sash, I kill the man wearin’ it! So run, you cur… RUN! Tell all the other curs the LAW’S coming! You tell ’em I’M coming… and Hell’s coming with me, you hear?! Hell’s coming with me!“
Hehe….bring the brimstone down on your writing. You won’t be sorry.
Just don’t set your computer on fire…..