Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Writing Advice From: K. M. Weiland
This month's writing advice is from K. M. Weiland, author of Behold The Dawn and Dreamlander, and the brains behind Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors.
I highly recommend that readers go to her site and explore the immense amount of information there, but here are a few tips on writing:
Prayer: The first thing I do every time I sit down to write is to ask a blessing on my work. If I’m to find any gold in my dross by the end of the day, it’s only because the Lord chooses to bless my efforts. I’ve claimed Psalm 19:14 as my special plea for my writing: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Yahweh, my Rock and my Redeemer.” I pray that the words might flow freely, that my music may inspire instead of distract, and that I might enjoy every minute of it.
Journaling: As I noted in the post “Journaling and Conquering Monsters,” I’ve found keeping a writing journal to be one of the most beneficial tricks in my bag of writing magic. Not only do I get to vent about problems, but I also have the opportunity to gather my thoughts about my characters, my pacing, and the scene I’m about to write. Instead of diving unprepared into my story and staring at the monitor, trying in vain to figure out where I want to go with a particular scene, I’m instead able to briefly sketch a basic scene plan in my notebook. I can’t even begin to tell how many false starts I’ve avoided with this method. Journaling allows me to gather my thoughts, to methodically put aside the outside world, and to ease my focus out of the intellectual and into the creative.
Character Notes: During my outlining process, I write detailed “sketches” of my characters. To remind myself of interesting quirks or angles, I read a few of these notes, usually focusing on a major character in my current scene.
Research Notes: For most of my stories, I collect pages upon pages of research material, most of which my sometimes sporadic memory couldn’t hope to remember. Even though I’m able to look up important details as they become necessary in the story, so many interesting facts still get lost in the giant crack between the research phase and the actual writing phase. To help combat that inevitability, I divide my notes into categories, and each day, before writing, I try to read one of these categories. Not only does this keep the important facts fresh in my mind, but it has also spurred some very interesting and unexpected plot twists.
And after all that, my brain having been stimulated and encouraged, I simply dive in. Other authors, of course, have their own methods of warming up. Some people recommend reading a passage from a classic author; still others suggest actually writing out that same passage, in hopes that you’ll be able to learn from that author’s style. (Personally, I’ve never felt I benefited from this. More often than not, it got me thinking about the classic author’s story instead of my own). Others swear by journal prompts or a brief stream-of-consciousness writing session.
Here are the links to the posts I borrowed this info from:
How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication
Thanks so much, K. M. for the writing advice! :o )
Blessings in Christ,