Sunday, September 2, 2012

Talking It Over

One of the greatest joys of being a writing coach is my writers/students actually ask questions and anticipate a fruitful discussion.  Last night, in the middle of a Scrabble match, Brian chatted in the game's bubble, "I have a question about my novel."  Three or four exchanges later, with my final entry offering him two possible ways to get out of the spot where he was stuck, he typed, "Okay, I know what I'm going to do now; guess I figured it out myself."

Plotting is Planning

That was music to my ears.  When I taught high school and adult ed, one of my goals was to provide my writers with myriad exercises that led to 'thinking it through'.  As coach, similar exercises, examples, suggestions lead to thinking  'plot'.  Brian knew what he wanted to convey about plot in that chapter, but the number of characters he had brought in took over the dialog, and he lost his protagonist's Point of View (pow) in the process.  By the time we got back to concentrating on our Scrabble board, he had sorted out what was wrong, how many characters to write OUT of the scene and felt confident his protag would regain control.

Like I said, it's always a joy for me to watch a writer leap forward in skills.  I'm still grinning today just remembering the pride, and releif, he took in his own discovery last night.  Two heads are better than one; when it comes to writers, every time you can brainstorm with lots of brains the more you grow.

Writing is Goal Oreintated

If you're not in a writing group that lets you read and discuss at least 5 - 10 pages a week, see if you can find one that does. Know what you want to accomplish.  With 52 weeks in a year and if you commit to writing 10 pages even 40 of those weeks, you'll have a 400 page rough draft of your book before a year passes.  Yes, it's a formula for turning attainable short term goals into one of the most satisfying super big goals of anyone's life.  Even if it's not a best-seller, and even if you think it might suck,  it won't.  You will be very pleased with your growth throughout the process.  And, our technology makes writing a book less painful than its ever been.

I'm just sayin'....

Try and type in your zip and and several 'writer' words;  you'll find some.  And, even though they usually schedule only one meetup a month, each group will know of weekly classes you may want to check out.

And keep Write On!