Daily Archives: October 19, 2011
Every Wednesday I’ll be sharing some hints and tips about how to improve your writing. These are basic things I have learned over the years, from writers websites, published authors and constructive feedback from friends, family and online pals.
There is an argument that fiction writing cannot be taught because it comes from talent alone, it is in your nature to be creative. Whilst there is some truth in that, even the most creative person needs to learn how to use their ability and make the best of their craft.
This week: Dumping the irrelevant junk!
This weeks topic is short and sweet. It’s about chopping out those junky words and tightening up your writing. Every word should have a purpose. If it doesn’t help move the story along then it should be deleted. I’m not perfect. Far from it, dear blog reader, and I often look at what I’ve just written and think “Oh man, that’s so bad, what the hell are those words doing there? Oh wait, maybe I was writing with my eyes closed again!”
We write how we think.
I’ve read a fair bit about finding your “authors voice” and how best-selling authors have a unique style their fans will recognise. Give me a Stephen King book that has no reference to SK himself and I’ll be able to tell you who wrote it. Why? Because his style, voice, word play etc is unmistakable. The same goes for so many authors. Writers take time to perfect their craft and find their unique voice.
That doesn’t mean amateur writers don’t have that same quality. I read plenty of blogs by amazing writers and I could point out which chunk of writing belongs to what blog and writer without a fancy logo or banner across the top of the web page.
But I think some of what separates the amateur from the seasoned pro is the use of words, specifically redundant words. Ones that are simply unnecessary. Ones that are just fillers in the sentence. Like those two sentences you’ve just read. I used the word “just” twice when I didn’t need to. I used the word “simply” when I didn’t need to. In fact I should have stopped after writing “…specifically redundant words” but I laboured the point to show that I, like you, write how I think. Or more specifically how I talk.
Most of us are comfortable using a multitude of different filler words when we speak because we’re social animals, often quite lazy too when it comes to talking. We get our point across using the easiest and most common words. However, this makes for sloppy writing.
Listen without sound. Filter the noise.
Speak without words. Dance. Write. Paint.
One day without senses enhances empathy.
Share a moment. Blind. Deaf. Mute.
Embrace life. Love it. Love it.
If you want to join in the Buddha Rocks Project here are the rules: 7 days of posts. 1 per day. These are inspired by 7 pictures. The pictures are chosen from BuddhaRocks a funky dude who has a vast army of photo’s on his deviantArt blog.
All you do is pick a pic and post it on your blog and then TELL Evelyn – who started the Buddha Rocks Project. Post a comment on her blog or Tweet her @E_FillingaHole – so she knows you’re playing along. It’ll make her happy!
I’m hooked on the #sixwords thingy on Twitter so I’ve taken the #sixwords ethos and blended it with images from Buddharocks. 6 words per line. 6 lines per image. I’m lovin’ it!