Saturday, July 19, 2008

Random Writing Thoughts

Lately, I've been spending a little time reading over writing I've done in the past--fiction, in particular. It's encouraging to see some good passages, but more than a little embarrassing to see the overuse of certain words, or the times when I tell what's happening rather than showing it through dialogue and action. Still, it's a learning experience to review past writing. It's been sitting awhile, so it's easier to read it more objectively and see what's good and what needs work.

If you've read much about how to write, you'll remember that one common piece of advice is to let the writing sit unread for at least a couple of days, then go back to it to edit. Even a little distance can help you see things that need correction or refinement.

The "show, don't tell" advice is common, also, and I find it surprisingly easy to slip into telling instead of showing. I suppose it's because my thoughts are racing ahead and so I want to get the ideas on the page before I lose them. That's where a note file on the computer, or a notebook by your side, can be useful. You can capture those ideas and thoughts without losing them, then go back to your story and take the time to develop the action and dialogue to show what's happening instead of just writing, "He did this, and then she did that."

Of course, you can always go back and revise/edit your work. That is especially easy on the computer. You can cut out lame passages and paste them into a note file if they contain ideas you want to use, then write the scene in a better way. I have to say that personal computers have made writing and editing so much easier than it used to be! There may be times when you want to handwrite some things, but there's nothing like the ease of writing on a computer!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

An Essay on Writing That You Might Enjoy

I decided to Google "essay on writing" and see if I could find something that would be of interest to you. The very first link provided an essay about writing that I really think you will enjoy reading. It is "On Writing" by Peter Landry.

If you are like me, you enjoy reading about writing as much as reading about how to write or reading good writing of all types. The essay is liberally sprinkled with quotes from writers about writing.

I also ran across another essay titled "The Age of the Essay" by Paul Graham that discusses the essay itself.

I hope you will enjoy these.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Fourth of July

A happy 4th of July to you. This is America's Independence Day. Think of your freedoms and what it cost to obtain them.

The History Channel has a nice summary of the events surrounding our gaining our freedom. The article is here: "U.S. Declares Independence".

Another interesting article by George Will can be found at Townhall. It is called "The Valuable Self-Validating Tradition".

Enjoy the reading and enjoy the Fourth. Think about what it all means for us.