Whenever I think it is time to make room on the mantle for next year’s Pulitzer, I put down the Murphy’s Oil Soap and take a break to read about other writers and their quest for fluidity, proper structure, and the illusive “hook.” I learned a long time ago that two people could produce the same work, yet one will be of the highest quality and the other…well, not. And while I like my own writing, and some of you do, also (for which I am grateful,) I never tire of learning from others.
Background: I have a great novel. It’s not written yet. Every time I write another chapter, I learn something new about writing that makes me go back and re-edit. It started with learning about dialogue. R. Andrew Wilson’s book, write like Hemingway, (http://www.amazon.com/Write-Like-Hemingway-Writing-Lessons/dp/1598698966) is a great resource that I still consult from time to time.
This week, while enjoying the peace and quiet of the Shenandoah Mountains, I finished chapter 4 of the next great American novel. I should now move on to chapter 5; after all, Shelby Pickett, P.I. now has two murders on her hands.
Yet…again…I took time to consider other writers.
Today, it’s all about adverbs and how not to use them. By doing a tag search (writing,) I have just “met” Jennifer McFadden, and have already decided that I will be stopping by her blog often. What she said makes great sense, yet until I heard it, I had not thought about using it in my own writing.
Check out http://jenniferemcfadden.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/dropping-the-adverbs/ for more info. Good stuff for those of us with no formal education in writing.
So, before Shelby can solve the mystery, I will be scouring my manuscript for words ending in “ly.” I guess the old adage has been proven correct once again: If writing well was easy, everyone would have a best seller.
Someday. But first, to re-edit chapters 1 – 4. Next weekend: Chapter 5. (and that’s why they all say…it’s a work in progress!)
Thanks for reading, and for those afflicted: keep on writing!