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Writing Tips #2

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For writers who aren't full time writers one of the hardest things is to write consistently. Expressive writing isn't like writing a paper where everthing is outlined for you, its about you finding the topic and putting it on paper in a way that would make anyone that read it feel exactly what you feel at the moment.


For most of us, with jobs, school, children and responsibilities its hard to devote alot of time a day to honing the craft of writing so, here are some tips/tricks to writing consistently and writing quality stuff most of the time.



All you need is five minutes: Don't think you need hours upon hours to write a little bit of freeform poetry or prose. Pick a topic, look at some artwork and just put pen to paper or open microsoft word, when you finish, you'll see that it took a lot less time than you thought it would.



Try different types of writing to see what your niche is. : If you normally only write poetry, try different types of poetry. Haikus, sonnets, freeform, blank verse are all fun styles, find the way to express yourself that suits you, don't feel trapped because the last word of every other sentence doesn't rhyme.



Having a problem putting a story together? Be more organized. Write pages about your character, how they look, how they speak, how they act in normal situations so that as you write your story you don't have to worry that your characters aren't interesting or unique. Let your character reveal him/herself to you so that you can put them in the right story.



Read. Read anything you can get your hands on when you can. Expose yourself to different writing styles whether it be with stories/poems or wording styles so that you can have a unique flair that other writers will envy.



Your poem/story sounds plain? Use a vocabulary builder or sign up for word of the day so that you can use words that will envoke the exact emotion that you need to.



One more line: When you feel writer's block coming on and you think you can't go on, just write one more line. Normally that will open it up for you or confirm whether you need a few hours rest from the story/poem.



Don't throw anything away: You may start a poem and only have four lines, can't finish it....don't throw it can use it as a quote that your character said in a book, you can try to work on it another day, out of stagnancy comes new life. Don't forget that.

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I'll add a few of the tips that I like to this list, with the quick reminder that I deal mainly with short stories and novels, not poetry, most of my ideas don't work too well with poetry.


1) To fight against writers block, stop writing when you only have one idea left, but do not write that idea. For example if I know that my character is going to hike a mountain and then repel down but I don't know what will happen after that, I'll get the character up the mountain but not repelling down. I'll stop once he hits the top and then I'll think about what comes up after he repels down.


2) When you're writing, other stories always jump into your head. They're usually good ideas but have NOTHING to do with the story that you're writing. The solution to this is to have a side little journal/document/whatever where you can write down the opening and ONLY the opening to that story. Leave yourself a cliff hanger. This way when you get writers block or you finish the story that you're working on, you can read through that journal/document/whatever and have something that you want to pick up and work on.


3) Have fun while writing. You should enjoy this, so write stuff that you like. If you like cheesy romance novels, write a cheesy romance novel. Don't try to do something that you hate because it will show in your writing. Also have confidence in your writing. There is nothing more that I hate than an author presenting their work and starting off with saying something along the lines of, "This isn't my best work but. . . ", "I'm not really proud of this, but. . . " or any other sort of disclaimer. You're human, I know that it won't be perfect and you should know that not everyone will like it. Be secure enough with your writings to let other people read them. If they like it, cool, if they don't, don't worry.


4) Drafts are your friends. This is what I think makes a good author, writing multiple drafts. It may suck, but get your work edited. Hand it to everyone that has a brain and get them to use a red (or blue- it's what I prefer) pen and tell them to do their worst. If you are stubborn and do not allow revisions to your story it will always suck. If you allow people to help you with flow, grammar, and other story aspects, it will be better. I always have time to help editing, so if you want send me a copy, give me some time, and I'll be more than willing to give your draft a run through with my blue pen.


5) Never give up, never surrender! Yet again, enjoy this. You probably won't get paid millions of dollars, so enjoy the process and don't let the stupid people get you down.

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