My thoughts on writing tips found online and in published works (with some random thoughts thrown into the mix).

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Trend in Spelling

It has been brought to my attention that there is a new trend in spelling. It affects at least three words, that I am aware of. It starts with the substitution of "of" for "have." Then, it progresses to shortening "have." For example, "kind of" has become "kind've." "Would have" became "would of," then moved on to being "would've." "Sort of" has even started showing up as "sort've."

Normally, though a deep part of me wants to fight against change in the English language, I try to be pretty flexible. This, however, is beyond my reach. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Like, Literally

I'm sorry, I can't give up that fight! Improper use of the words "literally" and "ignorant" just get under my skin.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Friends, Let Us Gather...

Today, I am hanging out over at the Grit City Publications blog. Come join me!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Are You Going Mad?

On December 28, the Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors blog came out with a guest post by Tiana Warner entitled Writing With a Touch of Madness. In this post, the blogger talks about what goes into making a novel. She highlighted traits in the author, such as obsession, passion, and persistence. She also noted that it takes a special breed to not only commit to writing a novel but to have the drive to see it through.

I would like to continue her train of thought, if I may. For many people, the idea of getting to that novel-length word count is daunting in and of itself. Add in multiple rewrites, drafts, and edits, and the process seems to stretch forward infinitely. There is also the task of finding a topic that drives you, of latching on to a subject that you can fill many pages with. You have to be able to lock on to a character and travel with them throughout their journey without getting into the boring or humdrum. Each scene has to have a purpose, it has to catch the attention of the reader and propel the story forward. But each scene can't be an action movie either; the tension and activity levels have to rise and fall.

So how do you create this perfect mixture? I don't know if there is really a way to make yourself into a novelist. I think that is something that is part of your nature, something that is built into the way you think and write. Now, with that said, I also think that our nature can evolve over time. If you write short stories again and again and again, eventually you might progress to writing a series of short stories, then on to making novels. Also, you might have rejected the idea of writing such a long piece for years, then wake up one morning determined to make it happen. People do change, and I believe this can be part of that change.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Want to Become a Better Writer?

infographic -- click the text links in the post for text versions of the visual material

While browsing the Copyblogger Best of 2012 list, I came upon this graphic. The creator had wanted to show writers that there is no easy way to become a writer. There are no magical "10 Steps" to follow that will turn you into an instant genius. There is no quick trick to become a world famous author. You have to work at it, which is the point he illustrates here. While there are other things that are important to writing well (such as reading a lot and doing your research), there is nothing that can replace experience. You just need to keep writing and writing to develop your own style and improve your craft.