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Author Topic: Mastering the Craft of Writing  (Read 3632 times)

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Sargesatt

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Mastering the Craft of Writing
« on: 04/09-07:28 »

I just recently purchased this manuscript from the Writer's Digest.  It is broken down into weekly lessons to help a writer improve, and I thought I might share some of the insights I am gleaning from its pages.

It was written by Stephen Wilbers, and it cost me $13.99 after tax, and was an electronic download.  Very much worth it to make your writing better!

Thus far I have found the manuscript very easy to read.

Week 1: Listen to Your Language
Stephen (A most excellent name!) begins with this gem: "Listen to the sound of your language. Read your words out loud. Pay attention to their rhythm and cadence and flow. Consider the way they reverberate in your head, how they stir your heart. Ask how your reader would respond to farewell as opposed to goodbye, or to mockingbird as opposed to crow."

Exercises
1. Write down the titles of five of your favorite songs. Alter one word in each title to ruin its sound. Then change the wording of each title to something you like better.

4. Listen carefully to the language other people are using. The next time
you read something by a favorite author, fi nd three words whose sound
you like.

5. Find three words that impress you from someone in your fi eld who
writes unusually well, and look for opportunities to use those words in
your own writing. As you put these words into play, be sure they not only
say exactly what you want to say but also sound good to you.

Yes, quite a bit is missing!  Of course you will need purchase the manuscript from WritersDigestShop.com!  Support this author and gain the full benefit of his wisdom!

Do anything to improve your writing, including writing on a regular basis.  And...Listen to Your Words!
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The Deposed King

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Re: Mastering the Craft of Writing
« Reply #1 on: 04/19-05:42 »

I just recently purchased this manuscript from the Writer's Digest.  It is broken down into weekly lessons to help a writer improve, and I thought I might share some of the insights I am gleaning from its pages.

It was written by Stephen Wilbers, and it cost me $13.99 after tax, and was an electronic download.  Very much worth it to make your writing better!

Thus far I have found the manuscript very easy to read.

Week 1: Listen to Your Language
Stephen (A most excellent name!) begins with this gem: "Listen to the sound of your language. Read your words out loud. Pay attention to their rhythm and cadence and flow. Consider the way they reverberate in your head, how they stir your heart. Ask how your reader would respond to farewell as opposed to goodbye, or to mockingbird as opposed to crow."

Exercises
1. Write down the titles of five of your favorite songs. Alter one word in each title to ruin its sound. Then change the wording of each title to something you like better.

4. Listen carefully to the language other people are using. The next time
you read something by a favorite author, fi nd three words whose sound
you like.

5. Find three words that impress you from someone in your fi eld who
writes unusually well, and look for opportunities to use those words in
your own writing. As you put these words into play, be sure they not only
say exactly what you want to say but also sound good to you.

Yes, quite a bit is missing!  Of course you will need purchase the manuscript from WritersDigestShop.com!  Support this author and gain the full benefit of his wisdom!

Do anything to improve your writing, including writing on a regular basis.  And...Listen to Your Words!


write write write!  That's my advice.
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superpsycho

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Re: Mastering the Craft of Writing
« Reply #2 on: 04/19-09:09 »


write write write!  That's my advice.
If you're going to master the art, the first and primary step is to write but at some point you also have to get some feed back to know if your work is worth reading and what direction you need to go to get it as good as it can be. And of course there's the dreaded writer's block which can be a big hurtle to get over sometimes. Prompts and exercises can come in handy to keep you writing on those occasions when imagination fails you.

In the end you find what works for you, then go with it.
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The Deposed King

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Re: Mastering the Craft of Writing
« Reply #3 on: 04/21-00:00 »

If you're going to master the art, the first and primary step is to write but at some point you also have to get some feed back to know if your work is worth reading and what direction you need to go to get it as good as it can be. And of course there's the dreaded writer's block which can be a big hurtle to get over sometimes. Prompts and exercises can come in handy to keep you writing on those occasions when imagination fails you.

In the end you find what works for you, then go with it.

You know when I started out writing I couldn't plot and couldn't outline, other than a general notion about the setting, but as I got going writing more books and deeper into the series I began using more and more detailed plot out lines.

Having a short one paragraph or less description of what I need to write next helps, even if that help is to say the outline is wrong because I then know what should be in there!

The Deposed King
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superpsycho

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Re: Mastering the Craft of Writing
« Reply #4 on: 04/21-08:02 »

You know when I started out writing I couldn't plot and couldn't outline, other than a general notion about the setting, but as I got going writing more books and deeper into the series I began using more and more detailed plot out lines.

Having a short one paragraph or less description of what I need to write next helps, even if that help is to say the outline is wrong because I then know what should be in there!

The Deposed King
Which gets to your point about writing. If you just read and think about writing you'll never get enough work output for you to figure out what's working and what isn't. A few sentences or paragraphs isn't enough. You need stacks of manuscripts --not pages-- before you have a clue as to what you do and don't know.
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Cassie

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Re: Mastering the Craft of Writing
« Reply #5 on: 04/21-16:33 »

Which gets to your point about writing. If you just read and think about writing you'll never get enough work output for you to figure out what's working and what isn't. A few sentences or paragraphs isn't enough. You need stacks of manuscripts --not pages-- before you have a clue as to what you do and don't know.
I guess I'm a long way from perfecting the craft. I have gotten real good at changing diapers though.
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The Deposed King

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Re: Mastering the Craft of Writing
« Reply #6 on: 04/21-19:54 »

I guess I'm a long way from perfecting the craft. I have gotten real good at changing diapers though.

I know full time authors that don't write with an outline and I know authors that literally can't write without a full blown 20k epic outline for their 120k novel.  Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

David Drake does 500 words a day without fail, no more no less. Guy's like John Ringo sit down have 10-to-20k days and bang out a book in two weeks.  There's no one size fits all, there's only this size works for many of us, if you're having trouble don't just stay mired in it give this one an honest shot.

As as for a 'writer' IMHO the only bad writing is no writing.  I wouldn't worry about perfection.

And I've had to change quite a few diapers myself lately  :P .  Got an 8 month old in the house right now.  Don't get yourself down you'll get there.  I wrote 100 or more story starts over 10 years before I finally had both the time and got serious about it.  Now I have 13-14 books on Amazon and am still going strong.



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Cassie

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Re: Mastering the Craft of Writing
« Reply #7 on: 04/23-09:26 »

I know full time authors that don't write with an outline and I know authors that literally can't write without a full blown 20k epic outline for their 120k novel.  Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

David Drake does 500 words a day without fail, no more no less. Guy's like John Ringo sit down have 10-to-20k days and bang out a book in two weeks.  There's no one size fits all, there's only this size works for many of us, if you're having trouble don't just stay mired in it give this one an honest shot.

As as for a 'writer' IMHO the only bad writing is no writing.  I wouldn't worry about perfection.

And I've had to change quite a few diapers myself lately  :P .  Got an 8 month old in the house right now.  Don't get yourself down you'll get there.  I wrote 100 or more story starts over 10 years before I finally had both the time and got serious about it.  Now I have 13-14 books on Amazon and am still going strong.



The Deposed King
I don't use an outline though I have a lot of notes as to who the characters are, what the places are and key points of the story. The notes are a must since it may be several days or even weeks between the times I get to sit and write. I don't get down about my schedule. I love my 5 month old and wouldn't trade her for anything. I enjoy my job too. But I also enjoy other thing, including writing.

My only problem is there isn't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. Right now it's spring cleaning and planting the garden.

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