Saturday, April 20, 2013

Write Tight

In the same way deadlines sometimes make us work harder, a word count can help writers with concise word choice.

Last year I participated in a writing exercise with the Throwing Up Words blog. The hardest assignment for me was writing a story in 100 words. Frankly, mine stank. However, I learned a lot from the effort.

I submitted a revised 196 word version, to Utah Children's Writer's 30 Days, 30 Stories project this week.

Here's the link if you'd like to see it.

I encourage you to try writing something, perhaps your latest query, taking out 1/3 of the words. Even if you go back and add to it again, as I did with my short fiction, it's worth the effort.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When You Get Stuck as a Writer

Lately I have been in a writing stall.

I can blame spring break, getting sick, editing, and redoing my query another 101 times, all of which are true.

But none of those change the fact that I have to keep writing.

This week I went back to a yoga class after a long break. Ow. I am so sore. Yes, I've still exercised, but in that class I used muscles I haven't felt in too long. I could easily tell when I couldn't lift my arms the next day. (Okay, I'm exaggerating.)

I've heard it said you can be in hiking shape but not tennis shape, dancing shape but not running shape, etc. In a similar way, if we want to be good writers. We have to write.

So even though I'm still editing, I have a goal to start writing something new again. Just a little. I use 750, but you don't have to have a site count your words, just make a goal. Fifteen minutes. One hour. Write while waiting to pick up kids, or during that interminable meeting you had to show up at but really don't need to listen to. Just keep in writing shape.

Maybe try getting in shape for a different sort of writing. This week I wrote a blog post for Authors Think Tank. I'm in the process of revising an old flash fiction, which has been a good reminder of how a short word count really encourages concise word use. I also had to write a short talk. Non-fiction uses different brain muscles as well.

So if you get stalled, keep writing. Write something, anything. Well, almost. The grocery list doesn't count. Unless, of course, it's a really creative grocery list, complete with adjectives, and maybe some dialogue. If you write one like that, I'd love to see it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ben's Book Bomb: Help Someone in Need

Dave Wolverton (aka David Farland) has been very influential in the local writing community, and it looks like he could use some help right now. Besides, his books are great, so what do you have to lose? I've been wanting to read Nightingale since I heard about it at LTUE.

Help Someone in Need: A Book Bomb for Ben Wolverton
Ben Wolverton, age 16, was in a tragic long-boarding accident on Wednesday the 4th, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, pneumonia, and is currently in a coma. His family has no insurance.

Ben is the son of author David Farland, whose books have won multiple awards, and who is widely known as a mentor to many prominent authors, such as Brandon Sanderson, Stephenie Meyer, and Brandon Mull. Costs for Ben's treatment are expected to rise above $1,000,0000. To help raise money for Ben, we are having a book bomb (focused on Nightingale and Million Dollar Outlines) on behalf of Ben.

You can learn more about Ben's condition, or simply donate to the Wolverton family here: