Category Archives: Writing Tips

Went Home from Camp Early. Tips to Write More

It was a good week stay in summer camp, but I got homesick and had to call my mom to bring me home. Well, to be honest I’m not rally talking about summer camp; I’m talking about Camp Nanowrimo. Never heard of it? Well here you go! In June I wrote a post about how I discovered that Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) had a practice term over the summer they lovingly entitled Camp Nanowrimo. Two sessions occurred one in June and one in August. I elected the August route and went on to write my novel The White Witch, but like I mentioned yesterday trouble was afoot. After the first week I held one of the highest word counts in my cabin (or group), but then my cheapo laptop decided to shit out on me. If it wasn’t for the glorious invention of the flash drive I would have lost my introduction and the first several chapters. It would have sucked. Bad.

I discovered Nanowrimo several years ago and my experience with it have been lackluster at best. In 2011, I posted one or twice about it , but my idea never got past the drawing board. Meanwhile in August of this year I decided to tackle the premise with little thought to a general outline; something I find to be exciting. But I have never successfully completed an entire 50,000 manuscript, let alone tackle the damn thing in thirty  days. While it’s a bummer that I couldn’t have completed the Camp in August, I’m thankful I still retain the 10,000 words that I had written. Rest assured, I’m working on cultivating a writing pace that will allow me to easily take the ideas that run rampant in my mind and slay them across the page. I’ll worry about killing my darlings with editing sometime later though.

So what is there to do to build up my writing pace and overall writing production overall? Well I’ve been thinking about that too, and here we go:

  •  Write every single day without exception. I want to start with a goal of 1000 words as of today (of fiction) and do this for the next week. Maybe I can step it up when I’m comfortable to 2000 or 3000 next week or two weeks from now.
  • Every Friday or Saturday do a “writing sprint” which will be a much longer duration of writing at upwards of 5000 words or until my fingers fall off. I’ll be talking about this within the next couple of days.
  • Participate in Write 1 Sub 1 or W1S1, which is a little writing challenge to write and submit one short story per week. I think this is damn fine challenge and will be starting today 🙂
  • After a draft is finished hide it, bury it, and dig it back up once I cool off.

These are just a couple of tips that I am going to advocate and use for myself. I’ll certainly let you know how each of them turn out.

 

Do you have any tips to write longer per day? Would love to hear it leave your comment below!

 

Thanks,

Damian

 

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When Writin’ a Draft

One of the most confusing aspects (well at least to me when I first started to write) was the drafts system. Sure I heard teachers bark to me about leaving my final draft clean and beautiful. Ernest Hemingway said, “All first drafts are shit” He is right. Sure you can find some amazing gems through your file cabinets of all writings, but the primary function of the draft is to get the story down.

Once the story has been penned (or typed) it may be amazing or it may be as Ernest Hemingway politely said, “shit”. You may call your characters by shorthand references like brother or boss. Your second draft may Continue reading


The Writing Handbooks

I am one of the people who believe that creative writing can’t be taught. Much like art or music. “What!?” Says the mob of angry people outside my door. “But I take guitar lessons and it is teaching me!” Yes, annoying linch mob.  Lessons can teach you how to hone a skill but not have mastery over it. You can take guitar lessons everyday for ten years but unless you truly have a knack for it you may never be the next Jimi Hendrix.

I am a firm believer that people are born with creative talents and some people are born with many but lessons and guidance helps you develop and hone such skills. Three books I believe are absolutely necessary for writers both fiction and nonfiction alike.

The Elements of Style (William Strunk JR. and E.B. White)

Get it here

Continue reading


It’s All in the Voice Baby

Just a note: that at seven pm Eastern tonight I’m going to publish a new story on the blog. Subscribe to keep informed.

So it’s all about the voice, no not your actual voice but your literary voice. Having a great story is only half of the battle, being able to convey your story to readers in an entertaining style is an amazing thing.

For instance, do you remember that history teacher you had in Sophomore year? Yep, that’s the one. The one who would drone on about the Revolutionary War and The Battle of York Town. He would read each word straight from the text book with no pause, or eye contact. Ouch. Now wouldn’t it be cool if he would have added some enthusiasm to his lessons? Maybe move around the room, draw you into the history as an entertaining tale?

Developing your own personal style, and using it to distance yourself from the crowd may be a monumental factor in your writing. Maybe you want to write slyly, sarcastically or even use over the top imagery. The choice is yours.

So what’s your voice?


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