Writing Tools:  WEbook Writing Secrets


     Read, Run Wild, Revise
     By ducktoes

     Read with a critical eye. This will ruin a lot of your blissful reading experiences, but consider that just one interpretation of the maxim, "Ignorance is bliss." Once you set down the path to becoming a writer, you will never experience organized storytelling elements the same way again. When you read a great book or watch a movie with impressive storytelling, try to figure out how this or that particular emotional impact is accomplished in a given scene. Keep in mind that you gain as much (if not more) from recognizing how not to do things as you do from figuring out how it's done successfully.

Run Wild
Be experimental. Try everything, but allow for growth. Realize that many of your ingenious ideas will seem flat to a future, more experienced you - but see them through anyway. Now is the time to play. You will begin to cultivate a unique aesthetic of writing, and by the time you're through trying to circumvent the rules with cleverness you'll have taught yourself just what the function of those rules really is.

Great writing comes from meticulous rewriting. Most of the words in your favorite books have been scrutinized and re-scrutinized until the author is satisfied that they are saying exactly what they need to say in order to advance the story or develop the characters. This isn't cheating. Getting the story on the page accesses a different area of your brain than editing and re-writing. The former draws on the excitement of telling and discovery; the latter sets itself to the task of making the work as refined as possible. If we could, we would express our great dramas to one another by pressing our foreheads together and meshing our wavelengths. Since such a psychic bond is not practical, at least not on a large scale, we must rely on the tried and true elements of craft.

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