When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.
Today’s tips come from Cory Doctorow, author of With a Little Help, For the Win, Makers, and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. He’s also the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Science Fiction.
Cory is a Canadian science fiction author, but also a blogger who serves as co-editor of Boing Boing and a tweeter with over 167,000 followers. That is a profile most writers I know can relate to–we write our novels, but also have active blogs and Twitter worlds. How have you (and I!) never heard of him?
Here’s what he says about writing:
- Write every day. Anything you do every day gets easier. If you’re insanely busy, make the amount that you write every day small (100 words? 250 words?) but do it every day.
- Write even when the mood isn’t right. You can’t tell if what you’re writing is good or bad while you’re writing it.
- Write when the book sucks and it isn’t going anywhere. Just keep writing. It doesn’t suck. Your conscience is having a panic attack because it doesn’t believe your subconscious knows what it’s doing.
- Stop in the middle of a sentence, leaving a rough edge for you to start from the next day — that way, you can write three or five words without being “creative” and before you know it, you’re writing.
- Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.
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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, an ISTE article reviewer, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.