Tuesday, April 18, 2017

recognize what works

You don’t need to know exactly what scenes work and what scenes do not before you start the book. In fact, often, when you’re creating a novel, you've got to write some “wrong stuff” to discover the “right stuff’; the stuff that works.

Learning to recognize what works is perhaps the greatest skill a struggling novelist can acquire.

Beginning writers often toss in lots of facts when they’re writing fiction based on real experiences, just because that’s the way it really happened. Bad reason. Just because it’s true doesn't mean it works.

In fact, a lot of the bizarre things we read in the news every day, which really did happen, are too strange for fiction. No one would believe them even though they really did happen.

Every incident you put in your novel should mean something, not only by itself but in the context of the story that you’re telling.

What works is the writing that moves the story forward, defines a character, or gets across important information. If it doesn't do something, it probably doesn't belong in the book.

Write your secret draft as well as you can, but don’t agonize about it, Set down your thoughts more or less as you think they should be. Don’t worry about using the perfect word or phrase. If the correct word choice doesn't come to you immediately, don’t worry, and don’t take the time to use a thesaurus. Just do the best you can and continue to write.

Don’t complicate your life. Just write one word after another. 
Throw anything you want to into your secret draft. Edit and correct it later. For now, just be nice to yourself and write that secret draft.

Remember: nothing you write is carved in stone until it’s published. If you're writing a Kindle book it doesn't need to ever be carved in stone cause changes are easy.

Even if it’s imperfect by nature, the secret draft is a beginning; a place to start. It’s far more productive to have the clay on the wheel than to sit there thinking about writing but not doing it because you think the first sentence you write must be perfect.

Sure, it needs to be nearly perfect eventually, but it does not need to be nearly perfect right away. That’s what revision is; perfecting it after you've written it.

The secret draft is never final; it’s a starting place. Once it’s done you can do anything you want to with it. And the best thing to do with it is rewrite it.

Above from the book NOVEL SECRETS,
available for Kindle for only $.99 cents:

Lary Crews