Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tips for Writing Success

I'm hard at work on my thesis, detailing how first-year students can generate first drafts. I spent all of yesterday and the day before writing/revising my 8-pg syllabus.
Here's few tips for you writers out there that I'll share in my Prompt-writing workshop Wed. Sept. 27th at the Royal Bean Coffee Shop.

In a Writing Workshop, when your work is getting critiqued:

1) Listen to all comments -- take what you want from the group, but you're the final authority
2) Allow everyone to finish their comments, then feel free to respond
3) Take notes on your copy

When you Critique others:

1) Be respectful and courteous
2) Always begin with a positive
3) Flesh out your answers -- don't just say "I liked it" or "I didn't like the story" Explain what worked and what didn’t work for you

Revision is crucial
You can revise as you go or revise after you complete your draft
Revision helps you find the right word and "look again" at what you've written.

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug" — Mark Twain

Try to write in 15-minute increments. Have a piece of paper/pen handy in the car, bedroom, computer, kitchen, or bathroom so that when a great story idea hits, you'll be ready!

Start a notebook for freewriting and start a journal for your early drafts of your work

When you revise in fiction watch for:

Structure/flow: Don't take too long to get into the story. Need action early on.

Characterization: do we know the basics of the characters early on? Make the characters unpredictable.
Reveal your characters through their clothing, actions, dialogue, gestures, bodily reactions, values, and possessions (also valuable for creative nonfiction)

Characters must be credible and consistent (Sally Buckner)

Setting: readers need a sense of place to feel grounded

And also check to see if you have a(n):
Ending that resonates with the reader (not one that just stops!)
A plot twist that has some suspense

1 comment:

Ottayan said...

On how to accept and give critique was really good.
Could you visit my blog and give me a critique on my writing. Mind you, most of the content are a rehash of others thoughts.