Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Writing Tips Are Not for Writing

I read a lot of writing books, blogs, and suggestions. I write a tidbit on the third Tuesday of the month. 

But do I use the writing tips all the time?

Well, no. Here's the thing. If I worried about each of the many things I learned every time I sat down at the keyboard, I'd never get any words on the screen. I can't see how anyone would. So if I'm writing, I just write whatever carbon comes out, however bland and boring. I can compress the diamond later.

So when do I use them?

Character and plotting tips are great for planning--before I sit down, or when I'm stuck. If the words aren't flowing it might be because I don't understand my hero or heroine's journey. Or I'm unclear about what opposition the antagonist offers them.

I use the craft tips on the edit passes, and not even all of them then. I bring them out when the story or prose just isn’t working. When I've stumbled over the paragraph or yawned through the scene. 

In other words, I use writing tips and help to fix what's wrong, not all the time. How about you?

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