Friday, May 25, 2012

Letting go


Don’t be afraid to let go…

A work in progress, my manuscript started with 2,841 words in chapter one. Now, after many reworks and lots of editing, chapter one has 1,111 words! I slashed, I flashed and I let go! It is difficult because we invent these stories, forming these words, becoming part of our memory, with a life of its own. We remember the momentum of writing those words, and the pleasure we derive. Now we have to look closer, rearrange, and we have to get rid of words blocking the true story. We are sentimental, but need to let go of the words that are not important any longer. They were part of the process, but no longer part of the flow. This same sentiment echoes other parts in our lives too.

Don’t be afraid to let go…

Free yourself from the norms that everyone expects of you. Many of us parade in the roles presumed, not necessarily who we want to be, but who we are expected to be. Conforming to who our social networks think we should be. Letting go of preconceived ideas is dangerous. Others may judge, you may question yourself too. One needs to accept their response, while accepting yourself. It is a price that can sometimes be cruel.

Don’t be afraid to let go…

As a parent this is extremely difficult. We watch our babies grow. We nurture them, sing to them, read to them and talk with them. In front of our eyes they grow into their own person. As a parent we need to take that last step. We can’t be afraid to let go! Part of us may never really let go, we have our memories. We need to let them be themselves – not who we want them to be. This is so difficult and takes lots of practice, and defining of lines. The ultimate goal is for the child to be a happy adult – a person who can be free to be themselves.

Now I begin another day…

This is the only part of the entire world that I can control. I create and then I need to look at my work, and let go. I need to be able to see the words impartially, let the story take its own life, and I must act as the facilitator rather than the ultimate and egotistical creator.

I cannot be afraid to let go…


Friday, May 18, 2012

Read, Learn and Share

There are many people and organizations out there who offer web seminars and online classes to help improve writing skills. Be very careful choosing the right one if you decide to pay for the knowledge.  I have found that there are many writers, editors and publishers, who freely offer help and assistance and give useful comments and ideas.  Often the information you need is right at your fingertips.

 Open up the browser, plug in your keywords, and begin searching for the information you need.  I’ve taken the liberty of plugging (below) a couple of useful sites that I have found; they have given me insightful information and remind me of good habits to keep improving my writing skills. 


There are also many forums and discussion groups with real people, with real experience, and they are willing to help. 
I urge any writer to take advantage of the knowledge from the community already out there, already discussing the same things we all need - good writing skills.
 
I have never been one to ask for help, being an independent free thinker, but the knowledge I received just by asking is irreplaceable.  The “help” from a cooperative discussion exchanging  ideas, and of course the value of real experience, is priceless.  With all these forums, discussion groups, and the wonderful web browser, it is so easy to get the information you need.  It is very refreshing to have so many writers out there who are willing to share ideas with other writers.  This support has inspired me to continue working, and continue writing.  I can do this in my own way, in my own time, and with my own thoughts.  I am not part of the flock – I am an individual, respected as such, and only one voice among many other individual and unique voices.


This week I am still editing my book, focusing on the story's structure, to ensure the correct foundation is in place to create the appropriate element of tension and flow.  Just like an old fashioned sewing machine, where the user always had to keep the tension at the proper level otherwise the thread would break; the same goes with a story.  If the tension is too tight the thread will snap, and if there is no tension the stitches become a loose and the seam is no good. 

Suggestions to other (aspiring) writers-
1 -do your research, and read
2- make sure your sentences are properly structured, and read
3- make sure your idea flows forward while balancing the idea that you want to get across, and read.

 So you may have ascertained my main idea – to write well you need to know and recognize good writing. 
The best way to do this is to READ!  Happy reading to all.

LINKS:
Community Sites & tips from Writers/editors/publishers:
She Writes (not just for women)

Writing.com -Writing community


Writers Digest: articles from one of the most visited community sites

5 Simple Steps on Creating Suspense in Fiction
Great story telling
Writing Inspiration from Andre Dubus III: How to Stay True to Yourself
9 must follow manuscript rules:

 

There are also so many writers who have blog pages filled with useful ideas and knowledge regarding formatting, software, self-publishing, creating ebooks, and much more, to help.



Friday, May 11, 2012

Editing My Own Ideas

In a recent on-line discussion between writers, it was mentioned that there are many famous authors who are able work closely with assigned editors to complete their work. Since I am not a published author yet, and very new to the process, I am basically on my own and get to work through this "editing process" on my own. I may want to pay for a professional to look at my work when I am finished, before I send it to any potential publishers, but limited to only what my wallet allows.


So I am very quickly learning the do's and dont's, and I am grateful for the many blog and discussion sites on the web where writers can share their experiences.  Without an editor to guide me, I find myself questioning my own ideas at times.  Working on a larger project also causes some confusion for me at times.  That's when I step away for a while, and then come back with a fresh view (at least I try to).


My story's idea for my first book came to me by chance. I wanted to write something that would horrorify and keep the reader on their toes, because like most, I love a good scare. Then I started reading up on some interesting people I heard about, the Timucua tribe, who are now extinct but used to live in the Florida area.  As I did more research, a story emerged.


I ended up with a tale of a family curse - tied to a ceremony enacted centuries ago.  A young couple meet and together struggle to end the curse, and of course fall in love. There is a lot of family drama, supernatural undertones, and some crime.  A real stew!  I really hope someone will be able to enjoy the story. Right now I am working on the last few editing steps....




I can't wait until I am finished.


I hope you love this song as much as I do!

head and the heart - Lost in My Mind



I started work on my web site - send me any suggestions -   www.Zguta.net





"Hanged, not as Spaniards, but as traitors, robbers, and murderers”
was the response of Captain Dominique De Gourgues to the Spanish brutal slaying of the French colonists who were
"hanged, not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans and heretics."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Develop your own writing habits


Last week I was on vacation, and I swore it was going to be relaxing.  It's funny how our daily habits creep up, blind sighting ourselves with the monotony of our everyday rituals. Some things we just gravitate to like watching the news in the morning with a cup of coffee....you know, the simple things we do over and over again without even a second thought.


I skipped a week of my blog during my vacation and used the time to think about where I was going - my goals and how I was going to accomplish them.  I came to the conclusion that what I needed most to attain my goals is a good set of writing habits.


Definition of Habit -
1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
2. customary practice or use
3. a particular practice, custom, or usage
4. a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality
5. addiction, especially to narcotics

So what are the best habits to utilize to attain good writing?  There are many experts in the field that have lists and secrets.  The bottom line is it has to work for the writer. 
Some of my first thoughts are:
  • Create and utilize writing project outlines (to have a clear vision)
  • Create character lists (get to know them in detail before you start writing the story)
  • Research (your subject, location or anything relevant)
  • Be flexible and adjust your original thoughts as necessary to keep the story flowing
  • Track changes (it is easy to get confused especially writing a larger project)
  • Write down ideas when they pop in your head (save for future, always have paper & pen)
  • Set up a schedule THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
Reserve a designated amount of time to sit & write. This is often the hardest to accomplish because we have so many distractions. So, just like punching a time clock, schedule time to write. Also needed is time to edit the writings, and let's not forget that we also have to format, send letters, and market. This is very daunting when you think of all the time these activities consume.


My main goal is to stay true to the main objective, and never give up writing time. This will need to be my most obsessive writing habit - my addiction.


Helpful sites with assistance:


purdue.edu/owl/resource


dailywritingtips/fiction-writing/


ken-follett.com/masterclass


Stephenking.com/library/ On Writing:_a_memoir_of_the_craft


readwritethink.org/elements/overview/


I hope you enjoy this song - a version that reminds us that practice is something we all do!


Us Against The World - Coldplay