Whatever Works Wednesdays

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and your writing will be just as it should be.” – Mark Twain
The man has a point. I find myself loving the words ‘usually, almost, as if, just about, at least’ far too much in the first draft of things. But that’s okay. It’s a first draft. It’s supposed to be frenzied and messy. I’m discovering the story that’s there under the surface. But I need to grow a spine in my second draft. He doesn’t ‘almost’ reach out for her arm, he grabs it. They don’t ‘usually meet’, they meet. They do, or do not, characters shouldn’t try all the time in your manuscript. They make mistakes and we wince or yell at them or throw the book across the room. At least Readers should have strong reactions to your books, if they are good books.

Whatever works Wednesdays

So here is today’s sanity saving tip for writers.  Buy a kitchen timer. Seriously. Go to the Dollar store or Wal-Mart. Get a cheap one, a fancy one, one that sings your favourite song when it’s done or one that makes you want to toss it across the room *hint: buy multiple of the room-toss ones…just saying*.

Why? For those days you hate writing. There will be some. Set the timer and stay in the seat long enough to type just a few words. When the timer goes off, you can go get a cup of tea. Then sit down and set the timer again, and work. Next bell, go to the bathroom. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  In this way you put in your butt-in-chair time. Trust me, one of the dings, you’ll be so caught up in your writing that you won’t want to stop.

Eventually you’re gonna reach your daily quota. You’re gonna train yourself to sit in the chair for longer and longer times. And while you’re doing this, you are writing.