Have you ever written 20,000 words for your new manuscript and had your computer crash before you could hit the “Save” button? Luckily, I haven’t but I’ve heard horror stories from writers who did.
As writers, we all have certain tendencies. There are things that we each do when we write that should be avoided, yet we are helpless to stop ourselves from doing them. These are our crutches in writing: the things we need to look out for while editing, because we know they’ll be there. They always are.
We’ve all heard of the thesaurus. We used them in school, the old Merriam-Webster ones that could have doubled as giant door stops. Now and again, we would pick one up to try and figure out what a word meant, based on other words that could be used in its place. I know I did.
Fear of rejection. Putting yourself and your work out into the world is hard enough, now we have to get used to being rejected too? That in and of itself has caused many writers to stop the story they are working on to move on to other ventures.
We all have different stories to tell. Some of us stay in the realm of Fantasy, writing for kids who love to visit the worlds created in our books. Other writers stay truer to life and the reality that surrounds us.
If you are a Pantser like I am (see blog post Plotter vs. Pantser), then you are perhaps more familiar with the idea of listening to your characters. In other words, letting your characters guide the direction the story you are writing will go.
Editing. The point after you’ve finished creating your manuscript when you revisit your writing to see how much more work you really have to do. Editing is taking your rough sketch, drawing in the final lines, and adding color to turn it into a masterpiece. Editing is where the magic happens in writing.
How to Make Your Characters Say Some Amazing Things
Dialogue is something so necessary in storytelling, it’s worth making sure what you’ve written is the best it can be. There are several things to keep in mind when writing or revising your story’s dialogue.
Dialogue is a tricky, fickle thing. It can draw the reader into interactions between characters faster than any narrative could ever hope to do. Dialogue can make its readers laugh, smile, get angry, and sometimes reach for the Kleenex box on the bedside table.
Finding What Doesn’t Add Up While Editing
Whether you are a Plotter or a Pantser when it comes to writing (see my post Writing: Plotter vs. Pantser), one thing all writers have in common is the need to work feverishly to get the story down on paper. What can often slip through the cracks during this mad rush to tell a story, however, is continuity.