Inspiration

Sometimes all it takes is that one perfect song to get you going—to get you writing that short story, or that novel. Other times it takes a good long stroll, or maybe a vacation, or last night’s dream to inspire you to write. But as writers, we must write even when we aren’t inspired to. Even on days when we think we don’t have time to write—we make time to write…anything. A sentence, a paragraph, a page, or a chapter. Because it is from writing every day that we are able to start a story and finish it.

I came across this short, but inspiring clip of authors sharing some invaluable advice on writing. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the video:

“Write a story for yourself.”
“Investigate on what your truths are and have faith in it.”
“Let the audience that’s meant to find it, find it.”
—Wally Lamb

“Write every day.”
—Diane Hammond

“When you have writer’s block—write. That’s how you unblock.”
“No book is written. Every book is re-written.”
—Ridley Pearson 

“Read. The more you read, the better you write. Write. Keep writing because the more you write, the better you write.”
—Anthony Horowitz

“Trust yourself. Write exactly what you think you want to write.”
—Lee Child

“If all else fails, just keep trying.”
—Graeme Base

“There’s one thing that all writers have, that you have…your voice.”
—Dennis Lehane

“Write what you know. Write what you believe in.”
—Robert Crais

Here is the link to the video:

Happy writing!

12 Helpful Tips When Writing a Book

There are a lot of tips to keep in mind when writing a book. One of my favorites is show—don’t tell. Here are a few other helpful tips I’ve learned along the way.

12 Helpful Tips When Writing a Book

  1. When an idea comes along—jot it down.
  2. Make time to write. Create a writing schedule that works for you.
  3. Set and meet your deadlines.
  4. Save your first draft. It can help you stay on path when you accidentally stray from your original idea.
  5. Edit. A LOT.
  6. Read what you’ve written out loud. Hearing your own words will help you in the editing process.
  7. Write—even when you don’t feel like writing. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with.
  8. Get beta readers you trust.
  9. Pick your editor carefully. (My first editor missed a few things on my manuscript. Thankfully, I caught and corrected the mistakes before my final draft was published.)
  10. Pay attention to constructive criticism, but do what you feel is best for your story.
  11. Keep your book title short and memorable.
  12. Endings need to close the story—not ruin it. Write it carefully.

What’s your favorite  tip when writing a book?

 

My First Guest Blogger

Today’s Writing Tip will be coming from my very first Guest Blogger, Robin Coyle. Robin and I met through wordpress.com. Her kind comments on my posts, mixed in with her witty sense of humor have always stood out to me. When I finally got around to thinking about finding a Guest Blogger, I thought of her first. Thanks Robin for writing today’s guest post.

Writing Tip #11: Moldy Verbs, Adverbs, and Intensifiers
By: Robin Coyle

Corey asked me to do a guest post on her blog Corey M.P. and I accepted with delight. She is a talented writer, wise, and all-around sweet person. Her prompt for my guest post was “writing tips.”

What is the best piece of writing advice you received?
I’ve learned volumes since I took on the job of “novelist.” Distilling it all, two things caused me to go back to my “finished” novel, In Search of Beef Stroganoff, and spend hours editing, editing, editing. The advice transformed my writing from “pretty good and readable” to “writing with punch.”

Use vigorous verbs.

And

Let there be a pox on adverbs and intensifiers.

When I learned these two tips, they really made me a better writer and were very helpful in making me be a more critical reader.

Yikes Robin, why didn’t you follow those tips when you wrote the above sentence?

Ok, smarty-pants. Allow me to rewrite the sentence.

When I digested these two tips, I evolved as writer and now read others’ work with a critical eye.

“Learned these two tips” became “digested these two tips.”

“Really made me” became “I evolved.”

“Very ” disappeared.

“More critical reader” became “critical eye.”

I now pause at every verb and ask, “Is there a stronger verb out there?” So . . .

“Walked purposefully” became “strode.”

“I turned quickly on my heel” changed to “I spun.”

Rather than “she ran out of the room,” my character “raced for the exit.”

When a vigorous verb replaces a weak one, the sentence springs to life.

I am embarrassed to say in an early draft of my novel I described a closet as “very, very, small.”  That closet is now “miniscule.” I nuked every: very, really, much, so, and too.” I went on the hunt for “ly” words – adverbs that made the text lay flat on the page like yesterday’s toast.

“She was extremely hungry” became “she was ravenous.”

“Amazingly, she made it to work on time and wasn’t fired” was better when rewritten to say, “She averted being fired when she clocked in at the strike of one-minute-late.”

I kept one blatant string of adverbs because I liked how they sounded together and it fit the moment in the story.

“I covered my eyes in the hope he would go away, but he pulled me close as we danced to The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” I was so incredibly, positively, and magnificently turned on. Those Brits know how to write a lyric.”

It wouldn’t have the same feel if it read, “It was an incredible, positive, and magnificent turn on.” Blah. Boring. Yawn.

Slashing moldy verbs, adverbs, and intensifiers will transform your writing. It did mine.

Thanks for the opportunity to do a guest post Corey. You rock!

Check out Robin’s blog at: robincoyle.wordpress.com

Favorite Writing Tip

Today’s post will be a little different. Instead of me posting a Writing Tip of the Day, I thought I’d try something new and ask you: “What’s your favorite writing tip/advice?

I’ll start. My favorite writing tip is from Ernest Hemingway:
Use short sentences.

Plain and simple. So, what’s yours?