The thing that most of us want to be in our writing is unique. It doesn’t have to be out in left field or pie in the sky to be unique.
We all have our own voice and our own way of putting sentences together. You need to develop that in your characters. Each one has their own voice, their own phraseology.
Under it all there is also your voice as a writer.
That is the uniqueness you need to develop as you write more and more. The only way to develop that is to write. A lot.
When you pick a story to write or it picks you, try different ways of expressing that story. Maybe set it in the future or the past where the language might be slightly different that today.
Take one of the characters and make them talk or act in the manner of a time past. We have all met people who use words from other languages to get their point across or just do it all the time.
Do you know how you catch a unique rabbit?
Unique up on him.
And that is also how you become unique. U niique up on it.
Traipsing is moving wearily or reluctantly through grounds or anything else. Here we are talking about traipsing through your writing to edit.
You really don’t want to do it, but do it you must.
You need to take out unnecessary words and phrases, even though you may thing they are necessary.
When you see adjectives, you need to weed through them and keep the ones you need, which is none.
Show don’t tell and adjectives tell.
You need to check your repetitions. Your repetitions. Some are as obvious as this and some hide. Read your work aloud to find the ones who hide. Hearing what you have written is essential. It helps with the flow and with the unnecessary.
Where I live we usually think of traipsing as slow as well as reluctantly. So do it slowly and reluctantly as you don’t want to kill too many of your darlings. Some of them are pure gold.
So, traipse away.
Setting the scene is also part of the reeling the reader into your story.
If you are writing about vampires, you need to decide how you will introduce said vamp to the reader.
It can be in the process of finding his prey or it can be when he has found and pounced on his prey.
Either way, you need to decide the timeframe you will use for the story: will it be past, present or future? There is always fantasy or science fiction as well.
When you set it will tell you how to set it. If you are setting it in the past, you will probably choose to put the attack scene in a forest. When in the past can help you decide what kind of forest it is.
If you set it in the present you might choose to set it in a war torn section of the world.
In the future you can choose which world to use and that will set time and place.
If you are writing an article your setting is already chosen for you.
Each scene will need its own setting. And if you are writing a romance the more details the better. If you are writing a police procedural the fewer details and more dialog is my preference.
With a romance you can get to describing the room you are in down to the drapes and the drapery rods. With the procedural one saying there is a window would be sufficient.
Remember, setting is what keeps them grounded in where this takes place.
You want to reel your readers into the story or article that you are writing. We have talked about the hook and how you need to bait it. Now that it is baited and wiggled in front of your reader, you want to reel them into what you want to say.
You can do it gently or you can do it quickly and hard.
Let’s say you are writing a story about a vampire. Your hook may have been him skulking around looking for prey. You describe the area, you describe the prey, and then you have him strike. That would be my gentle reel.
Or you have him take the prey down in the first page. That would be quick and hard.
To reel them in you tell the story of the vampire’s descent into being a vampire.
Or you could start with the prey.
You could tell about the prey’s background and how they got to be in that place and time.
Reeling them in you will use mini climaxes or string them along until the major climax of how the vampire is killed or gets away to prey another day.
Or perhaps the final climax would be the prey and the vamp getting together either as lovers or cohorts. In all of this you will decide if the prey at the beginning is just dinner or will become another vamp.
Here is to reeling in the big one.
Respect is not earned it is given, just like love. Once it is given it can grow or be broken and then has to be earned back.
When it comes to writing you have to respect what you do. You should not ashamedly say I am a writer. We need to be bolder about it.
Say, I AM A WRITER.
It is hard to do.
And respecting what we do is harder, especially if you are the only writer in your family or group of friends. Writing to some is a five word thank you card and how hard can that be? Even my 5-year-old can do it if forced.
Loving to write is something few understand. We aren’t forced by our parents or peers. We do it because we love doing it. We also hate it. That happens when the picture in your head will not put itself on the paper. When all the letters do this: eirrgonoeorhhoeo and there isn’t a single word in there without rearranging.
And rearrange we do. We take this word from here and put it there. Then we take a sentence and then a paragraph and move them. Or delete them. And, eventually, we find an arrangement that resembles what we saw in our mind’s eye.
And we do all this alone. And without exercise, except the fingers and the eyes. It just doesn’t seem right.
For us who do it, it is fabulous. When it is done.
Then we show it to others. You have to be bold and respect what you have done as the best you have ever done. And it is. Each time. Some of our pieces are liked by more people than others, but that’s okay.
Respect what you do and others will too.
Quietude is the state of stillness or calmness. Sometimes when we are trying to write we feel as though there is a squirrel loose in our brains jumping from this twig to that nut. We can’t seem to find a spot to land and rest to see what our brain can tell us.
You may not need a quiet place to have a quiet mind. Lots of people use music to write to. I find that just the sounds in the house around me are enough to keep me on track. I have learned not to jump and run at every sound in the house to see what is happening. I can write through it. I can do it because there are only two of us and I usually know where and what the other half is doing, so, quietude.
One of my favorite Bible verses is ” Be still and know that I am God”. He usually comes to you in the quiet times and so do ideas. Ideas, and your muse, like to be heard and if you have that squirrel in a cage rattling around up there, they don’t talk to you. They sometimes go away where it is quiet and wait.
And finally you get the idea to shut up the squirrel, maybe give him a nut, and then the ideas creep back to you.
Slowly, very slowly.
Be ready to put them down on paper or in the computer when they return. Take copious notes and see what happens when quietude returns.
Here’s to a quiet squirrel and lots of ideas.
Since I loved O so much I posted two pieces, I decided to cover three Ps in this post.
People, could have used that one, always want to know how your write or rather what do you write with, pen, pencil or computer. I actually use all of them.
The practicality of it is sometimes what is available. I cannot always carry a computer, but I usually find paper and pen or pencil. I like a pen and paper sometimes to be able to see it in black and white. It makes it more real for me. AndI know it can be black and white on my computer, but paper is easier to carry from place to place than my pc.
The computer is what I write my blog and other notes and pieces because that is usually where I am when it is time to write. And I usually can read my notes easier on the computer. I still have the same ol’ problem of where is it after I have written it and put it in a folder of some kind.
Pens and paper are what I learned to write with. I am left handed and the years that I was in school I usually had a black side of my hand because my hand went over my pencil writing and picked up the lead. I also have to turn my paper a certain way to write, but not my computer or my keyboard. So, really, computer is easier for me.
Here’s to writing with what makes you most comfortable and productive.
I am betting not many will know what an oleo strut is. Neither did I until I was dictionary reading and saw it.
It is a part on an airplane that pushes oil into an opening in a hollow piston to absorb the shock in landing gear.
Now, how is this going to work with writing? Well, when you write a story you have to have ascendance to a climax and you need something to soften that landing back into your life or the character’s life so that you or they do not fall into an abyss of horror or death.
Therefore you need an oleo strut. Someone or something that can put the oil or a padding that softens the landing after the climax. The climax that can mean the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one or even being just missed by the semi going through the yellow light.
When you write a story or article you know that there will be conflict and you have to resolve it. When you resolve it there is fall out and recovery to what is either the old normal or the new normal that is where your oleo strut comes in to play.
We have all had oleo struts in our life, be it the nurse that shows the new mother how to hold the baby when feeding or the friend who holds your hand after a break-up.
And there you have it. My take on an oleo strut.
We often say we have done nothing, or have nothing to do. Or the very favorite, I have nothing to write about. We discussed this in the A post. There is always something to write about.
Now, would it be wrong or unhelpful if you truly felt drained with no energy to write? No.
Sometimes doing nothing is the best refueler you can have. While doing nothing your brain has a chance to roam and investigate that hazy memory that had appeared a while back and had been left on the floor because you didn’t want to do it then.
Doing nothing gives you the opportunity to maybe read a book or bake some bread. I do nothing really well. The reason I do it well is because I have no guilt over doing nothing.
I have learned that guilt will get me nowhere and doing nothing may lead me somewhere.
So the next time you feel like doing nothing…just do it.
You do not need to spend the entire day doing nothing, but that half hour or so may net you some pretty big fish when you go back to doing something.
Excuse me, I have some nothing to get back to.
Memory can be your best resource when you write. You can write about specific memories, or use those memories to create a memory for your characters. Usually, no one will recognize them as specifically yours, unless you are writing a memoir, then they will.
Memories can supply you with physical places to set your stories. Memory can also help you with resources.
Sometimes we use our memories to time travel to our childhood or early adulthood. You can use that to help with your character trying to put a book together or when they need to be a witness to something.
Memories are powerful things and you can use how your memories make you act or react when writing a character or interviewing someone for a non-fiction piece.
And now, I will exit to the tune of Memories from the play Cats.