The Writing Process

When I first started writing, I remember feeling compelled to. I wanted to tell stories that I would like to read myself if I were looking for a book to read.
To be honest though, I’m not particularly confident in my ability in the specifics of story writing (i.e. dialogue that conveys important information vs when to show the reader vs tell the reader that moves the story along; point of view, voice etc.
So, short of taking a writing workshop or writing class (for those of us who have other responsibilities and limited time), where and or how did you learn to write? What resources, if any did you utilize that were beneficial to your writing?

Until next time.

SB

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2 comments on “The Writing Process

  1. Hey πŸ™‚

    It really depends on how you learn best. The first two ways, however, that work best than any other is to read and write extensively. You don’t exactly have to analyse as you read, a lot of things you may pick up subconciously, or go back to your three favourite books and have a look at what made you love them. The second, to write extensively, is just like saying, practice, practice, practice. As you read more, you’ll have a more trained eye as to what is good and what is bad writing, which you can determine in your work.

    After that, it’s a combination of a lot of things. You don’t have to go crazy, but every tip you learn is just one step to becoming a better writer. You can buy a book on writing (if you do so, I suggest http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plot-Structure-Techniques-Exercises-Crafting/dp/158297294X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337793762&sr=1-1) and it will really, really help. The book I suggested comes with a few exercises at the end of each chapter which aren’t too cheesy – just what anyone will need. It comes with a handy checklist at the end too. You can read a few articles on writing (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one) too.

    Another really important thing is getting critique on your writing. Crucial. Important. Mega vital. There may be some things you don’t notice about your writing because you’re so used to it. If you don’t have time for a writers class, post something online. I understand many people not wanting to post parts of their novel, which is fine. Just write a generic piece of flash fiction to get critique on. Ask about your general writing – dialogue, grammar, characterisation, desciption – rather than too many specifics, and test it out three times. I’d suggest posting on Yahoo Answers in the Books and Authors section – most the regular users are incredibly helpful – they’ll tell you things that will stay with you forever.

    It’s really good that you’re so willing to learn and that’s exactly the attitude you need. Keep writing, feel pride in your progress and look at what you have to do next to hit that next level. I’m not oh-so-good at writing myself, but it’s that combination of knowing you have learnt, and you still have more to learn. Writing is a very long process, especially writing a novel. It may even take some people many years, and that’s not a bad or wrong thing. My point is it takes patience, but writing is the most rewarding thing in my life, it’s the most self fulfilling, so just work towards it.

    Good luck πŸ™‚

    • stevebrowne says:

      JLT,
      Thanks for the reply.
      I really appreciate your insights, ideas and instruction. For a newbie such as myself, any assistance during this process of writing and learning to write is invaluable.
      I will look for the books you recommended and try putting some work out there as you recommended to see if I can get some help suggestions.
      Thanks as always.
      SB

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