Tips From a Young Writer: Editing

Originally Posted on Knitted By God's Plan

Did your villain really put on a pair of dirty Rocks? The proposal scene between hero and heroine is completely sappy and/or cheesy. You never did figure out what happened after the villain trapped the hero's younger sister on that island ... in fact, you completely forgot that your hero had had a sister!

Somehow, the words you see on the paper/computer screen is nothing like the words you remember spilling out of your fingers.

So what do you do? Do you crawl into bed, pull the blanket over your head, and decide that you will never write again, if all you can write is this horrid mess? Surely a good author wouldn't have made these horrid mistakes!

Let me let you in on a little secret. Every writer makes mistakes. Every book starts out horrid. Even the greatest books in the world have gone through the horrid stage called first draft. You're not alone. Welcome to the world of editing.

Editing? You ask. Did you just say editing? Y…

Tips From a Young Writer: Changes

Originally Posted on Knitted By God's Plan

So you're writing along, you've got a good story line, your characters are being (mostly) cooperative ... only, you've decided that maybe the story would be better if you gave Sadie a dog instead of a cat ... or if Jack were a Jill instead ... or maybe you have a few too many characters and need to get rid of a few ... or maybe the story would sound better in first person ...

In other words ... you need to make a change or two.

This is a perfectly legal thing to do. Your book is your book, and you can do whatever you want to it. Although, I will warn you, some of your characters may resent some of your changes, especially if you decide to get rid of, say, a close friend, or a close sibling, their love interest ... or them. However, your story is yours to change, and they can't really do a thing about it.

However ... if you do decide to make a change, you'll need to go through and make sure that your story is consistent…

The Rough Giraffe - Allegories with Brie Donning

Tips From a Young Author - Distractions

Originally Posted on Knitted By God's Plan

So you're writing along. You've got a good enough plot, your characters are being at least somewhat cooperative ... thing is ... you're starting to get a tad bit bored. Maybe you're at a slow spot, maybe you're just not quite sure how to get your hero out of the cage so that he can get the heroine off of the dangerous cliff. Whatever the case, suddenly your little brother or sister's Barney video is strangely interesting ...

Or ... wait, your room is messy, you'd better go clean it up. And - Oh! - it's such a beautiful day outside, you've just got to go for a nice walk in the woods. Or maybe, hmmmm..... hey, what's for lunch?

Anyways, you keep getting distracted. No matter how hard you try, or at least pretend to try to keep yourself interested in what you're writing, suddenly, you've got a whole plate of more important things to do.

Well, you're never going to get anything written if yo…

Tips From a Young Writer: Conversation

Originally Posted on Knitted By God's Plan

If you write a work of fiction, it's very likely that you'll have conversation. Some stories use it more than others. It's important to do it right, or it may destroy the story.

First, you have to make sure that conversation sounds natural. It has to be written in such a way that, if read aloud, it sounds like people are actually talking. A good test for that is to actually read it aloud. Also, get someone else to read it aloud. You happen to know exactly how they were supposed to talk, a second reader doesn't.

Here are a few tips that I've found useful for making natural sounding conversation:

Use contractions. Most people like to talk fast. They do not like to slow down to say each word individually. Unless it is a quirk for a particular character to say every word distinctly, use contractions.

Elliptical sentences. When you talk, much is understood. People don't like to be repetitious when they talk. When asked,…

Tips From a Young Writer - Criticism

Originally Posted on Knitted By God's Plan

When you write, you put a little of yourself into it. No matter how detached you may think yourself from a story, you poured a lot of precious time and thought into it, and you're not going to get that time back, or get to think those thoughts differently. As a result, you'd like for everyone who reads the book to like it, so as to make your wasted time worthwhile.

Sadly, such is not the case. No one will has or ever will write a book that is liked by everyone. Not even the Bible is liked by everyone - so what makes you think you can outdo God!

If you write a book and put it up for the general public to read, someone who reads it will not like it, I can guarantee it. It's just a fact of a writer's life. However, there are three solutions to this problem.

First solution is to not let anyone read your book. Lock it into a box, or password protect the document. It's a sad thing, but there are many potential authors who wi…

Tips From a Young Writer - Voice

Originally Posted on Knitted By God's Plan

When you write a book, you have an important decision to make right up front - what voice will you write it in? The voice is very important part of the book, and it can make or break your story.

What do I mean by voice? Voice is the style of how you write it. You can break it into three main parts: Mood, person, and tense. There are other factors, too, but those are the three main ones.

Mood is the emotion the book is supposed to carry. Some books have a cheerful mood. If your book thus, you would use lots of happy words and there would probably be some jokes. Descriptions would be full of color and sunshine. Other books have a gloomy mood. These books use sad words, and sad things happen. Descriptions tend to be grayish dark. Some have a hopeful mood, where there's grayish descriptions but there's a ray of sunshine piercing this darkness.

Person is what pronoun you use to describe your main character. Most books are written in th…
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