“Start a story now before your mouth talks it away.”
I love this line from the blog of authors and writing mentors Robert Ray and Jack Remick. Sometimes, authors do talk too much about their works-in-progress. We talk about not having enough time to write. We talk about plot or character problems we’re having. We talk, talk, and talk until we’ve worn ourselves and our listeners out.
Not all talk is good therapy. Sometimes, silence really is best. We can talk away the energy of a project and talking can be a way of avoiding what we should really be doing–writing. When I start to fall into this trap, I think of the quote above. Read more
Strong verbs equal strong writing. Normally, the first words we get down on paper tend to be thoughts, images, and ideas off the top of our head. Revision is the place where we go deeper and discover more original ideas, images, and metaphors, along with stronger verbs and nouns.
The good news is in two easy steps you can begin to train your brain to produce stronger verbs even in first drafts.
Step One: First, you have to know where you’re at.
Do a short timed write or use a piece of first draft writing. One page is good. You don’t want polished or revised work for this exercise—only first draft material! Next, underline or highlight each verb on the page. Read more