Monday, May 27, 2013

Reading...and writing

How is your writing coming?

I made the 9-hour or so trip to see my youngest daughter and stayed with her for 15 days. Did I do much writing? No, but I did some reading. Stephen King, in On Writing, advises that reading is as important to writing as writing is. Look how much he has written! I guess he would have a pretty good idea about that.

I’m in the middle of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series…The Pillars of Creation. It’s actually book seven of 12, I think. He tells a good story. And I keep trying to figure out things like:

·         Is he telling the story of Ancient Greece?

·         Is the Keep actually the Bible? The U.S. Constitution?

·         Is this about paganism and the development of the patriarchal religions?

·         Or is it just a good story?

·         Is this what William Shakespeare did? Wrote his version of events in history?

·         How can I make these ideas work for me?

·         What happens if you read about an historical moment and using “what if” questions, set that story in a different time and place? Using poetic license what can happen on the page?

We can only try and see how it works. Let me know what happens with your experiment. Your comments are invited and welcome.

© 2013 Cathy Thomas Brownfield ~ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pass it on

My daughter (#3 of 4) has begun to plot a novel. It’s not her first. But with every story we start, we learn a little more about the process of writing. That’s what I’ve found, anyway, so I learn by trial and error. It is helpful when someone ahead of us on the writing path can help us along with their wisdom and knowledge that comes from their writerly journey.

So, I gave my daughter the benefit of what I know for certain: Write the entire rough draft before you think about editing. It’s tempting to edit as you go, but since I learned that the human brain is not wired to multi-task efficiently, I am now writing the complete first draft so I have a beginning, a middle and an end. I know a lot will change when I revise it. My first concern is a start-to-finish first/rough draft.

I like to immerse myself in the genre I want to write in to get a feel for what the publishers are looking for, what the readers enjoy most and what I most want to write. 

So, there is the beginning point. Just write. 

My current WIP (work in progress): the first draft is written. I am beginning revisions, referencing the notes to myself as I wrote the draft, questions that came to me as I wrote that draft. I’m building up my characters (development) as I create a stronger story line. I’m letting my characters speak and using my knowledge and skill to write the story, just as I used to write the stories of the people I interviewed in my print journalism days. I was the conduit that got their spoken words translated into newsprint and ink. I find the best way I can to present their stories.

Go ahead. Give it a go!

©2013 ~ Cathy Thomas Brownfield ~ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Writing today...

The story is writing itself.

I let the heroine tell the story.

I try to keep my forceful hand out of her way.

I constantly am alert to her surroundings, the events that mold her.

I make notes on the page with red ink so I can go back later and flesh in parts of it.

I write and I don’t stop until the passage is finished.

I will heed the words of Stephen King that the worst thing a writer can do is stop writing because the process is too hard. That thought reminds me of advice from a local businessman, Vance Adams, 14 years ago: The person who fails gave up too soon.”

So, even if I am sitting here writing garbage, maybe it isn’t really garbage. I won’t know if I don’t follow through and finish what I have started.

How is your follow-through on your projects? Have you finished that rough draft yet? Are you working on revisions? Have you submitted? 

What are you waiting for?

(C) 2013 Cathy Thomas Brownfield ~ All Rights Reserved