December 15, 2008

12 Days of Writing, Tip 1: Inspiration & Rewriting

Now that the 12 Days of Christmas in Miniature is over, I thought I'd follow up with another series, this time on THE 12 DAYS OF WRITING (and maybe more if I get enough advice to share.)

The series will be a few short thoughts and a writing tip from myself and other authors. Be sure to come back daily and see who is offering up their pearls of writing wisdom.

Writing as Work

Writing can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you'll ever do. But don't let anyone kid you. It can also also be one of the hardest and most frustrating of occupations, as well.

Once the aura of the byline and getting published wears off, the writing becomes work. It's putting one word after another and constructing one sentence after another until you reach the desired word count.

Forget muses. Deadlines don't wait for inspiration. If you are getting paid to write, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, the writing has to be done, period. But that is only the beginning.

Tip #1: Write and then rewrite.

By Christine Verstraete, author of Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery

You may polish as you write or go back and fix things up later, but don't expect the first draft to be your last. Good writers know that writing means rewriting. It may mean getting feedback from one editor, fixing things, then getting feedback from another editor, fixing them some more, and so on. It means re-reading until you can't see the words on the page. The best advice: write, let the manuscript sit for a couple days if possible, then go back to it. Rest and rewrite. Write, spruce, polish.

For other thoughts on writing inspiration, check out these Mystery Writing Lessons from author PD James.

** Your Turn: Share your view on inspiration and rewriting.

** Be sure to come back tomorrow and see who's dropped in.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, you're in good company with the late Michael Crichton:

    "Books aren't written - they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it"

    Camille/Margaret Grace


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