M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thinking Good Writing's a Blending of Craft Skills

Lot's of people who talk to me think revising is the number #1 writing tip. I don't think so. That's a little like having a donkey push the cart. Yeah, writers need to finish writing something first to revise, but that isn't all. Writing is a blend of craft skills that takes practice and more practice. Yeah, I think writers are jugglers ... that's why we drop so many balls when we first start creating.

Oh, I think revising is the linch-pin of getting your writing published. You gotta get the words in some semblance of order, but once you have the story line down, you need to create images in your reader's mind and a hundred other different things.

That's where revising comes in. Writer's Digest, that helpful trade journal, posted a guest blog by Brian Kelms on tightening the screws on your readers in the first 50 pages of your work. This is important, because agents seldom read more than 50 pages in their first reaction to your query. More important, the excerpts given online aren't that long either. You've got to hook your reader early ... and show your competence.

Another thing. You have to carve out the time out of your life to write and revise. I struggle with this as much as most other writers. Then, I came across a tweet on how you only need to blog once a week on Twitter. Music to mine ears. Mohana Rajakumor's blog on Pro-blogger is a must read if you want to make a big splash in the blogging sphere. For most of us, writing and worrying about writing one blog a week gives us more time to work on our current manuscript.

Me? I think I was looking at the once a week excuse, but I think blogging too much can rob your creative juices unless you are mainly reporting on happenings.

So, how are my writing craft skills going? I'm having a hard time hitting my target of adding to Hag Stone Magic [500 words] this morning. If you also have a similar problem of meeting your priorities, check out Kristen Lamb's blog on Setting Priorities. It's about how social media overwhelms you. 

Hey it's only the 31st of January and I think I have my first blog for February almost done. *smiles*.

Haitus

Yeah ... It's the middle of February ... Ash Wednesday to be exact, if you follow such stuff. Still, it's a good time to reflect on how insignificant we are in the scheme of things. 

Still, the above advice is still pertinent, and I'd like to add another tip of my own. If you read this blog even semi-regularly, you've read me complaining that I'm a slooooow writer. Was it the dreaded writer's block. No. My mind was building a growing chapter outline. [very loosely structured]. But after a running start of over 500 words a day ... word production slowed down more and more as new questions rose about Mac's world.

Why? I kept have to explain things plus adding the notations in the "bible". Yeah, the dreaded clumps of back story kept clogging up  the flow of the story line. The solution didn't pop into my mind until I explained why magic existed in my post-apocalyptic world to my critique group. I was trying to write book two first. So, Hag Stone Magic has been relegated to a file of it's own. I'm still world-building but it's from the boonies-point-of-view rather than an administrative center. -- Did I just steal that from Suzanne Collins?

My tip? If you're suffering from "writer's block", maybe you aren't starting your story in the right place.

Oh, Dean K. Miller, a fellow Northern Colorado Writer, did a blog featuring my author website. Why don't you click the link and see what he has to say.
Author Kay Theodoratus

And, it's Valentine's Day.
I should proof read this again, but you're getting this typos and all.
It's been festering in my computer too long.
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