Showing posts with label writing #writingtips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing #writingtips. Show all posts

Monday, April 29

3 Steps To Better Prose

How To Improve Your Prose

How To Improve Your Prose In Three Months

A few years ago I attended a writing conference at which one of the lecturers made the following claim: If you follow these simple steps you'll markedly improve your prose writing in under three months.

At the time I thought it was too simple to work--just do these few steps every day and in 3 months (give or take) I'd be a better writer. Yeah. Right.

At the time I took the lecture I was skeptical, but now I'm not so sure. I think I might try this.

1. Go through your bookshelves and select a book that you think has terrific prose.

2. Select three pages of the book and copy them, word for word. 

This is only for your own edification so you can delete the pages after you're done. It is the act of typing/writing the words that is important.

Copying out the words will give you a feel for the writer's timing, their rhythm.

3. Write a few paragraphs that imitate the prose you've just copied.

For instance, if the text you chose to copy was a love scene, then you write a love scene. The setting you choose for your scene should be similar to the setting in the text you just copied.

Do this for three or four days picking 3 (or so) pages from different parts of the book. Then pick another book and do the same thing with that one.

After 3 or 4 months of this you will find it easier to write in your own voice and your prose will have improved.

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The above is based on notes I took at a writing conference but unfortunately I didn't mark down the name of the conference or when I attended it, but it must have been some time ago. I hate not being able to give a reference but this information seemed too valuable not to share.

Question: Do you have any writing exercises you'd like to share?

Other articles you might like: 

- Book Design: What NOT To Do
- Cliffhangers
- New Minimum Length For Ebooks On Amazon: 2500 Words

Photo link: "Leap Day" by garlandcannon under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Friday, February 22

Write A Novel In A Year, Chuck Wendig's Plan: The Big 350

Yesterday’s gone the way of the dodo. You have one day, and it is today.
- Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig has written another terrific article, this time about how to write a novel in a year.

Chuck Wendig's Plan: The Big 350

This is a simple plan. There are only two rules:

1. Write 5 days out of the week.

2. On each day you write, complete 350 words.

That's it. If you do this you'll have 91,000 words by the end of the year. Chuck writes:
The goal is not to write a masterpiece. ... The goal is to finish a novel despite a life that seems hell-bent to let you do no such thing. It is you snatching snippets of word count from the air and smooshing them together until they form a cohesive (if not coherent) whole. It assumes a “slow and steady wins the race” approach to this book.
Chuck Wendig suggests using a spreadsheet to keep track of your progress:
Make a spreadsheet if you have to. Track your 350 words per day (you’ll probably end up writing more than that consistently and hitting your tally quicker, particularly with a spreadsheet to remind you — you will discover it’s actually hard to stop at 350 words).
I'll leave you with these words of inspiration from Chuck:
You can sneeze 350 words. It’s like a word appetizer every day. Some days it’ll take you 15 minutes, other days two hours — but you’re going to commit to those 350 words every day, whether you type them out, or scrawl them in a notebook, or chisel them into the wall of your prison cell. You will carve these words out of the time you are given.

You get 24 hours a day. As do I. As do we all.

Grab a little time to write a little bit every day.
Here is a graphic Chuck Wendig created and that he invited his readers to share:

The Big 350 by Chuck Wendig,
used with permission.

Do you write every day? Every week? If so, do you have any tricks or tips to share?

Other articles you might like:

- How to record an audiobook at home
- 6 Ways To Get Rid Of Infodumps At The Beginning Of A Story
- How To Write Short Stories

Photo credit: "Happy Girl Hopscotch in Strawberry Free Creative Commons" by Pink Sherbet Photography under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.