New directions.

I’ve decided to cut the cord on publicly trying to putt through this horrendous story of mine. Actually, I’ve learned quite a lot! In no particular order:

First drafts suck – They are supposed to, I think. They just lay the framework for what can be a really great story with a lot of work.

Keep trudging forward – This blog has really helped me with that, actually, and I am continuing with my RTFD (really terrible first draft) without looking back. I just want to do it in private, before I embarrass myself even more. I have confidence that something good can come out of this framework, but you really have to have the resolve to keep on keepin’ on.

It is really difficult to translate what you have in your head to paper – This is where writing every day and practicing comes in handy. You only have the potential to get better at what you practice, and so many things are learned from trial and error.

Read other people’s stuff – Other books, novels in the genre you want to write, novels in genres you don’t care about, and any tips and tricks of the trade. You will learn something from all of them.

If you get stuck, write anyway – You can fix bad transitions and stuff later, in the next draft. Or the draft after that. I think it’s supposed to take many.

Stay optimistic– You CAN do this. No one may ever read it, but that’s not the point. If you want to write a book or anything else, the only thing that will stop you dead in your tracks is YOU, yourself. Nothing else is stopping you from accomplishing this.

Write everyday – even if it’s only a few words, and even if it’s not related to your “big” project. Keep in the habit.

Find a critique buddy -This will keep you writing, too. I need to find one who is willing to put up with me and has similar goals. Anyone game?

Thanks for listening! I will leave my terrible story line up because, the process, right? I will continue to use this blog for thoughts, insights and a collection of things I maybe don’t want to loose. Also, maybe trying out flash fiction, etc. This blog is about the process for me, and maybe it will inspire you.

Top Ten Writing Mistakes Editors See Every Day

I just don’t want to lose this. I am at work and can’t stay to ponder and read thoroughly, but will later! Hopefully you can get something out of it, too.

Confessions of a Creative Writing Teacher

Goya -The sleep of reason produces monsters (c1799) recut

In addition to writing and teaching, one of the things I do for a living is to evaluate manuscripts for their suitability for publication. I read fiction (and non-fiction) across several genres, and write comprehensive reports on the books. I try always to guide the author towards knocking his or her project into a shape that could be credibly presented to literary agents, publishers and general readers. You know how Newman and Mittelmark introduce How Not to Write a Novel by saying, ‘We are merely telling you the things that editors are too busy rejecting your novel to tell you themselves, pointing out the mistakes they recognize instantly because they see them again and again in novels they do not buy,’ well they’re right; I am one of those editors.

However good the idea behind a novel, when the author is still learning the craft of writing – like any…

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