Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday: On Writing

Well, happy last day of February, everybody! It would have been better if I hadn't had to work at my "normal" job today, but one can't have everything, I suppose. Good news: we hit bonus at work, so that's something. If we hadn't worked today, there's a good possibility that we wouldn't have gotten bonus. So, all things in perspective, right?

Anyhoo, this is my Monday: On Writing day. Here goes!

When I first decided that writing was going to be my "job", I thought I was such a great writer. But my goodness, how deluded I was!

I thought I was quite good where I was. I didn't understand the importance of critique groups, revision, and most important, market study. Who'd have thought writing could be such work, you know?

Of course, I do know better now. Writing is like any other job, or talent. The only way to get better is through constant practice. And, or course, having other eyes to catch what you miss in your own revision and editing process is wonderfully helpful.

Since my first egotistical journey into Writerland about two years ago, I've learned a couple tricks that I have since been employing in my writing. They are my favourite tricks that I've learned so far, and I want to share them with all the rest of you.

The first is, cut back on adjectives. Don't use more words than you have to. In fact, use concrete writing.

The second is, change as many "ing" words so that they end in either "ed" or "s". Instantly, voila! You're writing is tighter, cleaner, more gripping.

Until Wednesday, thanks for reading!


  1. As I've learned, the art of revision has become downright fun. I'm with you. The lessons we learn from experience... :-)

  2. It's just funny, Dawn, 'cause I remember being SO fantastic. Now, I'm really not as fabulous as I remember. :-)

  3. Yes, it's like the more you learn about writing, the more you realize you still have to learn. ;)

    Happy March!

  4. Yes, our first drafts are shit like Ernest Hemmingway would say or did say.

  5. Cat, great tips. I love both of those. My other favorite is to avoid adverbs at all costs. If you use strong/specific verbs, you don't need adverbs. Adverbs are telling, not showing. Let me see things.

    As one of your critique partners, I can say you're writing is fantastic. :)

  6. Happy March, Anne!

    Shelly, my first drafts really are that... just piles and piles of thoughts stapled together on plain, college-ruled paper. After that, the real work begins!

    Kelly, as always, your comments just leave me so very, very humbled. Here's a kiss: :-*

  7. More, more, more! Give me more writing tips! More, more, more, more,more! :-)
    I feel SO out of my depth sometimes. (Most of the time...) I realize how much I still have to learn about writing. It's a bit daunting, really.
    Anyway, Thanks Cat!

  8. I don't think we ever escape the learning curve. At times it feels like juggling. The more I learn about the craft, the more balls I have to keep in the air as I write which is why revision is pivotal to the process.

  9. Yes but aren't our delusions grand....


  10. EL OH EL, Courtney! I love you.

    Kim, revision can either be my love or my nightmare. It depends on how smoothly the ride is going. :)

    Amy, you are so funny. If I think of any more tips, I'll definitely post 'em. :)


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