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Four writing nuggets from best-selling author James Scott Bell

In a webinar Tuesday, James Scott Bell shared some writing best practices. For now, here are four tidbits of writing wisdom. Watch for more words of writing writing wisdom in my next post.

1. Write – It’s pretty obvious, but how many people do you know who “want to write a book someday,” but never seem to do it? Probably because they don’t just write. It’s the first step.

2.Don’t bore the reader – Whatever you do, if you want to write a gripping book, you can’t be boring. Keep this idea in the back of your mind as you write.

3. Write hot – When you’re writing your first draft, write without thinking too much. Fling those words down on the page. Don’t get analytical. Don’t revise. Don’t stop and weigh the wisdom of using one word over another. You’ll have time for that later. (Bell revises his previous days work to get back into the flow of his manuscript.) For more ideas about writing hot, check out my post, Write from your white-hot center, your dream state.

4. Edit cool – Whew! Once you’ve got a draft, it’s time to gather your wits and edit with the cool, calculating genius of a craftsman or woman. Marshall all your writing craft juice and shape your sentences into little pearls. Think of your manuscript as a piece of marble and carve all the extraneous material off to reveal the masterpiece within.

For more insight about revising your manuscript, read Try this revision trick to polish your prose.

Bell has just updated his book, Revision and Self Editing for Publication: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft into a Novel that Sells. It’s available for pre-order at Writer’s Digest for $10 or on Amazon.

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