Monday, March 21, 2011


I was finishing up on the last chapter of "Colin and the Little Black Box," and realized that I had been tired.  I thought it had been finished.  Beware writing when you're tired.  The mind may be all right, but sometimes what you are thinking just doesn't make it down onto the page.
This brings me to the point of this post: pacing.  Everybody writes at a different pace, and that pace should be suited to your personality type and the environment you are writing in.  For me, I write in limited, but very productive time blocks of about an hour.  Then I get away from the computer, go for walks, think about what I'm writing and where the characters are going.  It lets my mind process what I'm trying to do.  You see, I'm a deep thinking person, but not very quick on the pick up, so I like to do a lot of thinking before I write.  As a result, when I sit down to write, the fingers fly and I slip into the zone.
So, what I'm saying is find what works for you and to do that you may have to experiment a bit.
Happy writing,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saying too much

Here we go. I'm going to raid my old Ancient Literary criticism book from university for the following idea. A guy back in the 16th century wrote it, but I'm going to paraphrase it. Demetrius said that persuasiveness has two characteristics, clarity and ordinary language. Anything obscure and out of the ordinary is unconvincing....we must aim to avoid diction which is ornate and pretentious and arrange the words so that the sentence has a firm structure with no attempt at rhythmical effects." He goes on to say that too much description insults the reader's intelligence and leaves nothing for the imagination. I sometimes fall into this problem. I have to remind myself that the reader has to also participate in the work if it is to be successful. See Colin's work for this right balance of description and invitation. Demetrius finishes by saying, "In fact, to tell your hearer everything as if he were a fool is to reveal that you think him one."


Friday, March 4, 2011

Writing Exercise

Sorry for not posting anything Saturday, things were a bit busy with the arrival of our new adopted daughter, Mia.

So, here is an exercise I've used to get the old fingers typing.

Select an object and then write a description about that object, using all five senses.

Now respond to the object by describing how you feel about it.

Thirdly,  free associate using your object as a jumping off point:  An idea of how to do this is to look at your object, write the first idea that comes to your mind and then just keep writing.  The idea is not to stop writing.  If nothing comes to your mind write "nothing"  down.

Now, write a short fantasy about your object.  A couple questions that could help you start:  "What's the strangest thing that could happen to this object?" or, "Wht is an adventure it could have experienced."

I'm going to try to link my story that I developed using this technique, if I can find it.

Happy writing, Mike