Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Day in the Writer's Life: The Writerly Ten Commandments

Actually, these are more like writerly reminders instead of commandments. Not all of them are true all of the time. Just for the most part. I would've liked to have written a lengthy, in-depth post about the art of revision and how important it is, but sadly I'm way too busy working on the revision for the third Arkwell Academy bookThe Nightmare Charade. Instead, I leave you with some tidbits I've picked up so far. Some guidelines to help you avoid the pitfalls. Hope you find them useful:

  1. Don’t be married to your envisioned ending.
  2. When in doubt – delete. If you're wavering with a word choice or struggling with a scene and you just can't get it to work, it probably isn't necessary.
  3. Books are made during revisions—not first drafts.
  4. Understanding character motivation is the key to avoiding plot holes.
  5. Use transitions effectively—readers don’t always need to see how characters got from point A to point B.
  6. Each book has its own rhythm—sentence length and structure, paragraph length, even chapter length.
  7. Keep any cut scenes in a separate document—you might want them later.
  8. Version control is your friend—every time you start a new revision, change the version.
  9. Books should be built like a house of cards—if you can remove one on the bottom (aka a scene from the beginning) the house should fall. If it doesn’t, then it was never necessary.
  10. Give yourself distance—sometimes it’s the only way to solve problems.

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