Ah writing, writing; writing. It’s such a magically wonderful beast.
It’s the thing we love and the thing we hate, the thing we loathe and the thing we crave, the thing we tire from yet can’t live without; the thing that imprisons us yet always sets us free. For us, for writers, writing is all of these things. And it is also so much more.
I think I could probably test the integrity of the character limit of this platform simply through sitting here writing about writing all day, but I guess that would be kinda pointless – and a little boring for you. Not to mention the harsh truth that I’ve already set the title for this article, and there’s no way I’m scrolling back to the top of the page to change it. I haven’t had nearly enough coffee today to start playing around like that…
Though, the purpose of my little poetic snippet about writing still stands. Writing is all of those things and so much more, and that is the real reason I’m writing this article. You’re here because you want to improve your written abilities, I’m here because I want to help people improve their written abilities. All in all, I think we make an awesome team.
Sorry, I do tend to get a little sidetracked sometimes.
I guess since you’re still here, that must at least mean you enjoy those little written cut scenes. Either that or I’m just really irritating you now because all you want is to read those damn tips. Well, I won’t keep you waiting any longer.
Here they are.
A Word to Avoid
This is a real biggie for me, and it’s one of the things I watch out for most when I’m editing. And that goes for when I’m editing my own writing as well as that of my clients.
That particular thing is the overuse (or sometimes just the use in general) of the word ‘feel’ or ‘felt’ or any other variation of the word. Now, you may think that it’s just a word, and that there can’t really be anything that bad with it. But, there is. As always, I want to give you a tip and properly explain why it is useful, so that is what I shall do.
The word ‘feel’ is usually a writer’s biggest pitfall when it comes to the art of showing vs telling – yup, it’s one of those tips. If you’re familiar with this phrase, you’ll understand that last part. Showing vs telling is one of the most difficult things to master as a writer, and getting that balance just right may just be the difference between a great book and a really crappy one. Showing vs telling is hard, but now you have a new tip to help you get that balance.
Using the word ‘feel’ always leans towards simply telling the reader what the character is feeling as opposed to showing them those feelings through character actions and descriptions. It’s tough to get right, but I don’t ever see a use for the word ‘feel’ when covering a character’s emotions. You don’t want to overdo it, you don’t want to be showing the reader every single detail, but that’s where finding the balance comes in.
I would advise showing at key times though, always show at key times. If it’s a key emotion, in a key part of the story, then show like your life depends on it. And if writing is your life, well it kinda does…
Write From Within
This is one of those tips that isn’t quite as specific as the previous one, but it will still help you to improve your game on a more general basis. This tip is the reason behind that first part of the title up there, and I think it applies to not only writing, but life in general – in a metaphorical sense of course.
It’s sort of like a little poetic quote, and here it is:
Write not with your pen, nor with your fingertips on a keyboard, but with your heart; your soul. It is when we write from within that we create our finest works.
The meaning of this is simple. Have you ever noticed the difference between writing something you love vs writing something you aren’t so crazy about? The difference is night and day. For example, I remember back when I was at school, I would sit all day and hate writing about all the things I used to hate, but then I would rush home and open my laptop and sit for hours in my own little world working on my story.
It’s crazy how it works. Writing is writing, right? Wrong. Writing is always best when we’re writing about something we love, so always make sure to convey that in your written beauties.
Go and Create
I want you to take something from all of my posts, so please, if nothing else, let this be a little motivation for you to get up off your ass and go write. Well, maybe not the get up off your ass part – I think it would be a little awkward to write standing up… But definitely the go write part. Definitely do that.
Do it everyday and do it for the things you love; for the things that make your heart beat and your soul sing. Do it for you and for all the world’s untold beauties. Do it because the universe needs you and your wonderful written voice.
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