Writing Forum from Longridge Writers Group.


I subscribe to a free newsletter for writers from. Longridge Writers Group.  One of the regular items is a forum/advice from Donna Ippolito and her answer of the week.

This week it was  – Is it usual for writing to get harder?
Thank you Donna.

See (and subscribe 🙂  ) to the newsletter at http://www.thelongridgewritersgroup.com/T6020/rx/wc13/webletter_070510.shtml

Donna writes: “It’s a heady experience to pour out a first draft, yet the real art of writing is in the rewrite. Some people hate revising because they’re looking for perfection rather than seeing writing as a process. In the first stage, you write at white heat and without judgment. No matter how imperfect, however, this draft represents a heroic victory over the tyranny of the blank page.

Now you can shape and sculpt that nice, juicy pile of writing without having to worry about inspiration. In this phase, you rely on craft. Perhaps you’ll take Chekhov’s advice and routinely throw out the first three pages. You’ll study your own characters and their behavior, getting to know them even better. You’ll read your words out loud. You’ll ask whether this or that page of action, dialogue, or rumination truly advances the plot, reveals character, heightens the drama. You’ll look at verbs to see if you’ve chosen the strongest ones. You’ll cut all the fancy words, eliminate all the useless adjectives and adverbs.

By the time you’re done, the finished piece will read as though you did write it in a single, inspired burst even if it took two, five, eight, or even twenty drafts to get it that way. In the process, you’ll have to sacrifice some beloved phrases, sentences, passages, scenes, chapters, or even sections, but they aren’t lost forever. Keep the ones you love best in a file or a box or a drawer where you can retrieve them. Some choice image, description, or dialogue that you cut from this story might be perfect for another later on. As Anaïs Nin reminds us, nothing is lost but it changes.”

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One Response

  1. Truman Capote said something to the effect of using the scissor more than the pencil.
    I like this.

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