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Utilizing What’s Available Is Never Bad

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

So, I posted the first three chapters of my current project on Scribophile.com. (The website is excellent by the way.) The greatest feature for writers, who are registered there, is that you get critiqued by dozens of other writers like yourself. I can admit that some of the comments can be over analytical, but you’re a winner if you take the tough stuff right in the gut. Just remember, none of the advice is right or wrong, it’s all suggestive. That doesn’t mean you have to satisfy every reader by adapting your piece to their critique.

The site offers tons of free reading, contests, and general info on writing. There are chapters from novels in every genre, poems, and plenty of short stories. You can read whatever titles you like, and if you feel even more enthused, post a critique of your own.  Be nice.
When I put my piece up, the hounds were feasting on its flesh in less than two hours. I received some awesome feedback by the way, and returned the favors with Scribophile’s unique editing system. The editor allowed me to critique word for word, or choose to comment by writing in categories such as plot, character dialogue, scene description, and prose. You could even close your critique with something more personal to the writer like…

“That was the best chapter ever!” or “Five stars, buddy. I wouldn’t change a thing!” (Make it less conventional though.)

Look, the point I’m trying to make here, is that there are lots of resources out there. You have to make use of them if you wanna get better as a writer. My advice is to take a chance. Experience trial and error. Learn where you fall short, because no matter how perfect your writing might seem, there are lots of ways to improve.
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Just When I Thought I Bit the Biscuit

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

There was something rough about my novel writing this week. A feeling I hadn’t experienced in ten long months.

 After dressing my keyboard in potato chip crumbs, and remnants of microwavable pizza, I had dehydrated every creative corner of my brain. There wasn’t a spurt of adrenaline, one scenario spike. I couldn’t write an ounce of dialogue. I even tried exhausting the details structure in my newest scenes. It seemed like my characters were forever frozen in time. Wait, actually, they were.

 I sat at the computer monitor, keyboard in an uproar. (I mean it was like shouting my name. “Eric, Eric, Eric…”) Lip drawn between my teeth, head low, I was stumped. The writing just wasn’t there. No matter how much I focused. No matter how many hours I stared at that blank document page, my creative vision was dying at a fast rate.

 Thank god my dog entered the room, panting at my ankles. I would’ve suffered another two hours in that worn leather chair working a nerve rather than a pen. God knows I would’ve done it. I had before.

 With no effort, I grabbed his leash and the both of us circled the block. I even gave my little fella a nice trim and bathe afterwards. How else could I thank him for saving me from complete agonizing boredom?

An hour later, I sat back at the computer monitor, invested, but still, nothing. Where had my sweet sci-fi vibe gone? Ugh, just last week I was pumping out pages. I wanted to break something. (My fingers, no I need those. Hmm, I know, the neck of that freakin’ bird whose chirps woke me that morning.)

 So, I turned the dial. My novel was doomed for the moment, but during the walk, a light was lit. Ting! Somewhere in the back of my mind, a new project appeared, one that would benefit me in the long haul.

Not only does a blog provide a place to express yourself, it provides a place to express and be HEARD. I’ve come across a lot of writer’s blogs, and they’ve used them to promote novels, services, and to talk about their lives at home. I hadn’t realized it before, but blogging is a great tool. You and I should understand that in order to establish credibility, become experts at writing, and even to publish that awesome book one day, blogging will help to give us a presence. If you’re learning with each day of writing, then remember, sitting in silence means you won’t get HEARD. You have to be courageous and giving.

I will use Novel Writing Wryms and Habits to give pointers and to talk about both my writing struggles and successes with creating fiction. My current projects will of course be promoted and sometimes posted here. Overall, let’s have fun. Stay connected.