Life, Writing

Here are a few of my favorite (writing) things…

Writing and editing is a long, tough process, and I’m sure many of you know that as a writer, there is always room for improvement. And there is always room to learn a new skill. And sometimes you need to brush up on old ones.

Even though, I studied literature in college, that doesn’t mean my writing is anywhere near perfect. It just means I can analyze fiction (a mostly useless talent outside of academia).

Here are three things to keep in mind when you’re working on your own writing:

  • 1. Practice makes perfect.
  • 2. Sometimes you need to go back and review things you thought you knew.
  • 3. Have someone else read your work!!!! I cannot stress how important this is.
  • 4. Take some time to learn or study the craft of writing. Every year I read one or two books about writing. It’s nice to read what other writers have learned throughout their careers too.

In addition to practice being the best method of improvement, there are some other things that I use to help with my writing and editing process.

Here are a few of my writing/editing tools:

  1. Autocrit.com
    • This website allows you to submit your writing and it checks it for everything! It’s nice, but it’s still just a program. It doesn’t make up for reading and editing by humans.
  2. Understanding Show Don’t Tell
    • This book by Janice Hardy is a great resource for understanding the show don’t tell concept. When I first edited my own work, it was something I struggled with. It’s a challenging concept if you don’t know how to recognize it.
  3. Ready, Set, Novel!
    • This book was created for NANOWRIMO. I love it! I like to use it when I’m brainstorming a new project. The exercises are practical and build on each other. You can go from something very basic to a detailed outline in no time.
  4. Complete the Story
    • This book is page after page of story ideas. I use it to write my short story every month. It’s also where the original Unicorns Are Really Vampires (my first novel) idea started.

As always, happy reading and writing today and every day!