Short and Sweet Writing Tips
by June Foster
Since I always seem to have a deadline, I love reading "how to" articles that are short and list the points with bullets. Could be I'm a minimalist. At least my daughter tells me I am.
Not sure if you're like me, but a fantastic story idea suddenly occupies my brain, demanding to be told. I can see the setting and the characters as if a little TV had taken up residence in my mind. I wish the rest was that simple. Hopefully these steps will make it a little easier.
*After you've opened up a new doc, begin a process I call free writing. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, or sentence structure. Just get your idea down in print. Let it flow without telling yourself this is lousy stuff. You can write the whole book like this or just a chapter at a time.
*Begin refining what you've written by examining the content. Does each event move the story forward? Are the character's believable? Are your facts accurate? If not delete or tweak.
*After you're pretty happy with the story, then examine sentence structure, action beats, sentence variation, and word choice. An author once suggested I make my writing sound more elegant. Will the narrative catch and hold the reader's attention?
*Now go on a treasure hunt in every chapter. Use the "Find" function on the "Home" button on Word. Check for pet words. Any word can be a pet word if you use it too frequently. Here are some I tend to overuse. Just, still, that, back. Check for the over use of ing and ly.
* Run the spell/grammar check and see what turns up.
*Read each chapter aloud. You'll be amazed what tweaks you need to make.
So, hopefully these points will help to simplify your writing process. Happy writing!
A Peek into June's latest release:
Though a Christian, Luke Chamberlain ignored his values and indulged in his beautiful fiancé's world of alcohol, parties, and nights at her apartment. After rededicating his life to the Lord, he vows never to fall into the lifestyle again. When the state of Idaho's Tourism Department offers his construction company the contract to renovate Silver Cliff, an 1890's silver mining ghost town, he accepts.
Janie Littleton studied history in college because life in the past is simpler than the uncomfortable reality of the present. With her extra pounds, eye glasses, and mousy brown hair, no man would find her attractive. When she's offered the job of project historian at the restoration of Silver Cliff, she accepts. But as Luke Chamberlain shows an interest in her, she doubts his sincerity. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be the miner who founded Silver Cliff in 1890 intimidates her with frightening midnight visits.
Can Luke convince Janie he's in love with the godly woman she is? Can Janie hold onto her faith as she's harassed by frightening appearances of old Ezra Barclay who died a hundred years ago?
Tag line: True beauty isn't found at the Miss Idaho pageant but in a deserted ghost town in the mountains of Idaho.
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/zxn3psm