Friday, November 2, 2012

ABC's of Writing - (M)onitor Your Writing and Don't Get Sidetracked

First of all, I will be reading the Alien Vampire Bunny stories this weekend and you will have the results next week! I will post the top three choices here on the blog. Yes, that does mean that we will miss a single day of the ABC's but I think we can live with it.

Now, on to the alphabet.

I will first of all state this is again one of my rants about why I believe plotting has much more strength than pantsters. Still, I think even if you aren't a plotter, you can utilize some of what I am talking about here.

When you sit down to write a story, you need to know where you want to go to with the plot. You might not have all of the intricate details figured out yet, but you should know what the end goal is for the story. What is that big "take-away" for your readers. In academic writing, we speak of this as being your thesis.

Now, as you are writing, you have to stop every now and then and examine if you are indeed still heading in the right direction and are "on course" for that final destination. If you aren't you have to take the time, immediately and get your story back on track.

For many authors, this getting off track can happen if you take some time off of your story. Maybe life got in the way. Maybe you ended up working on edits for another project and then had to get back to that work in progress. Regardless of the situation, when you return to the story, your mind is simply not in the place it was the first time. The result is that your writing is now heading in the wrong direction.

For other writers, getting side-tracked can happen if you have critique partners or contest results jumping in and providing you some guidance and feedback. While their information may be correct, or their information might provide some new depth to the story, if they are missing the goal and vision you see for their story, AND, you ignore it as well, you could also end up getting side-tracked.

I bring all of this up because I do know many of you are like me. We simply do not have the time in the day to waste going back and redoing something. Constantly monitoring your progress and self-correcting as you write will result in a more productive writing experience.

See you on Monday!

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