Weekend (Re)Writing Workout – A Change of Scenery

I’ve been a delinquent blogger and now that the crazy that was my July is over, I hope to post again on a regular basis. Instead of the usual timed writing workout I post for the weekend, I thought I’d give you something fun to try if you’re in rewrite mode and have come across an undynamic 2 person scene. Maybe it reads flat, just talking heads. (And if you’re not in rewrite mode, you can still do the exercise, just write a scene first) I used to have my screenwriting students write an exchange of dialogue between two people in conflict (the start line was “I can’t believe you just …”). No description, no action, just dialogue. Then, I’d have them rewrite the scene twice, placing the characters in two...

Holiday Writing Workout: Yay Mess!

So, I wrote a blog post yesterday and it disappeared. Blipped out of existence just like THAT (snaps magic fingers). Strange. Perhaps something was trying to tell me to get back to my rewrite. This is part of my mini-series: Holiday Writing Workout – for those working on a post NaNo hangover or who just want to keep the motor running through the holidaze. I liked the exercise inspired by book post from Monday, so I decided to explore that again. Right now I’m reading John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines. Just kick me in the shins this minute for waiting so long to pick up one of his books. I love, love, love the relationship between the protagonist and his best friend. Green writes the American YA version of Nick Hornby’s books (High...

Holiday Writing Workout (a.k.a. get yr motor running for the new year)

It’s not the 12 Days of Christmas; more like the day before and the 6 days after. For those working on their NaNo rewrites (or any writing for that matter), I present a workout activity each day (except Christmas) to end 2011 with a bang and rev up for a new year of writing. Today’s workout focuses on what to do when you get stuck. “THINKING” ON THE PAGE Anyone who has taken a writing workshop from me knows that I am a big on working thing out on the page. Sometimes during a timed writing exercise in one of my classes I’ll look up and see a frozen someone with a pained expression on his face. It’s the look of someone trying to find the right words before he gets them down. This just happened last week and after class I told the...

Weekend Workout: More This is a Story About

My virtual friend Miriam Forster is debuting as a published author and her final rewrite is due at the end of the month. If you have ever been through this process, you will fall in love with her when you read HER POST about what it’s like having your child book leave the nest. She hits it on the nose when it comes to the difficulty of that final rewrite before it’s out of your hands. The thing is, it’s never perfect. You could go on tweaking your manuscript forever. At some point, you just have to let it go. I’m telling this to myself as much as you b/c my final rewrite is also due at the end of the month and I’ve been petting the pooch for the past week. Perfectionism feeds the procrastination monster at my house. When it gets like...

NaNo Hangover Episode 3

Okay, so you’ve printed your newborn, placed it in a lovely binder, hugged it, read it through (completely) with magic purple pen in hand . . . and had the following response: a) Wow! I love this! b) Wow! This is terrible! c) No one will ever publish/read/enjoy this. I’m a hack. d) I should not have quit my day job. e) All of the above Loving, hating, smiling, laughing, cringing, crying and especially combinations thereof are all natural responses to your new work. Heck, they are even natural responses three drafts into your work. But do know this – every day you sit down to work on your manuscript you make it a little bit better. But, how to start? What next? As I’ve said, unfortunately I can’t work on my NaNo story yet due to a...