You have finished. Finally, you got to the end of your story, or to the end of that “eternal” chapter. So, it’s time to take a break; breaks can be a productivity investment. But, then that little voice starts whispering in your subconscious: the inevitable worry about the consistency of your own creativity - is your story worth reading?
As writers we are familiar with this kind of worries, and the reality is that the fear will never go away, although you can learn to manage it. And here we have for you some useful tips to edit your writing correctly and be more secure about it.
First of all, (and even if it sounds obvious) you need to read. You can’t just write and not re read you over and over again. The thing is that the more you read your own pieces, more mistakes you will correct. So, read your story at least 3 times. By doing this, you will become your own editor without losing your style. And when you think your story is perfect, read it one last time. We believe that it’s better to get tired of reading yourself, than later regret for some mistakes.
Second, read your story out loud. At least, one time you should do it aloud. According to Peter Elbow, in his University work about writing, “reading aloud intensifies our own words’ experience by increasing our bodily experience them: we get to feel them with our mouths and hear them in our ears and indeed experience them in our bodies--not just see with the eye and understand with the mind. Multiple channels of perception give us a much richer and stronger experience of language. When we revise, we come at our words from the outside, but reading aloud takes that outside perspective and puts it inside us”. When you read aloud is like you are reading to someone else, so you’ll have a better perception of the tone you’re using, where are the grammar pauses, or the strong parts; and what is the sensation you’re getting.
Third, give your text to someone else; yes, really. Choose someone wisely and ask him/her to read your story. Sometimes we are so into our writing and reading that we miss our own mistakes, or we write phrases that are not quite understandable. Is better that someone with fresh ideas and an outside view read your drafts. That’s the job of editors at the level of professional writing because you can’t be unbiased by your own text. Sometimes you’re not going to follow everything they say, but you can get some clues of what to improve, and when you need to put some more time.
And last, but not least, READ OTHER AUTHORS. Even if you are doing your own work, you should also be reading other books. Reading someone with a different perspective and style, even language, makes you to open your mind to new forms of storytelling - the art of saying the same things, in different ways, with different words, and styles. It’s a total art; and you will need that specially to describe your character’s unique behaviours and views.
As we always say, the better the reader, the better the writer.Feb. 6, 2017, 2:26 p.m. 0 Report Embed 1
Once upon a time there were people that used their pen to write beautiful poems, inspiring stories, amazing novels, incredible fiction or just a diary… There were many that kept a journal or a notebook where they used to collect all their work. We can even watch in movies how people used to be inspired by writing beside the lake or the ocean. And when a writer died, his/her journal remained as a legacy.
But then technology came to change the way we write and read. Now it has became easier and practical. You can write, edit, write, and edit again as you go, and you can do it faster. Nowadays you can publish online on digital platforms like Inkspired where everyone can access your content instantaneously. With this you even obtain readers and feedback. Your legacy as a writer is not based on a physical journal anymore: it lies on the vast internet.
However, with all the fuss of digital publishing, sometimes we ask ourselves: which experience is really better? Handwriting, or typing? Pen and paper, or a computer and the internet where there is no borders? Which one would make you a better writer, or a better novelist? Well, even though is a good question to think about, the bad news is that there is no real answer. It all depends on your vision as writer.
If we talk about pen and paper, we know we are talking about a natural born writer. They are easy to use and EVERYONE has them. They are also very easy to transport. A notebook can be the best travel mate. It doesn’t only increase you inspiration, but also your capacity to pay attention to what you are living. One of the most important things about the paper is that you can keep yourself away from distractions and you can just write. That’s the reason why some people feel more inspired to write on paper, because you don’t have all this extra windows or the internet to distract you from your story. It’s just you and your pen.
But the computer is also the powerful one for some reason. It has begun to take the place of pen a paper because of its easier way of writing and editing a story with a lot of tools to help you with that. If you don’t like a phrase you can just delete it without ruin the whole text. And also it will be very legible. If someone else’s read your story they will understand easily, and you will do it too.
There is people that hours after writing something, they don’t even understand what they wrote. Typing saves you from that, and from the terror of losing your precious notebook. In a computer you can save your writings in a cloud, or the mail, or even in platforms like Inkspired, and it will stay there forever. The computer allows you to count your words, to have a grammar corrector and also to investigate things for your own story.
Maybe handwriting and typing are not two separated things, but complementary after all. Spark your creativity in the traditional way… be you, be free to write and erase, and take it with you to where the magic happens, and then… just then, take it down to the keyboard, and most importantly: publish it, and share it with the world. After all, a writer becomes an author when someone reads him.
You are lying down on your bed with your computer on your lap. Perfectly comfortable. The perfect scenario. The ideas start flowing as your fingers write like two fast machines. Everything is going wonderful. Until suddenly you feel lazy. You have slept only 6 hours, and you went training in the morning, so Morfeus is knocking on your door. You fight against it, and try to keep your eyes open, but it seems unlikely you will make it. The ideas begin to fade away. And you surrender to the arms of the darkness.
One hour later you wake up. You look at your computer and you have only written 3 lines. “How I could be so careless!” You think... But it is time to catch up. Suddenly the phone rings and is your boss asking for help - you know, those wonderful calls at midnight, when everything is urgent. "Maybe tomorrow I can continue", you whisper to yourself. And so on... Days passes by and writing your story gets… e t e r n a l. And it keeps happening day after day after day, but this time not your boss, but a friend,... or your mom, or your dog, or you get hungry. And if you don’t get hungry, you start ,multitasking, etc. Even though you have all the tools to start writing, if the environment isn't for you, the right writing is not going to happen.
We, as authors, are totally aware that there is not a "perfect" environment, because that depends on each individual and the ways he or she feels about one place or the surroundings. But, we can unravel some little details that can make the place that you choose to write, a more suitable one.
A PLACE THAT INSPIRES YOU
The good thing about writing is that you can do it wherever you want. So choose a place that likes you the most. The one that inspires you and put your imagination into motion. We all have some ideal places that we love and fulfill us just by being there, so choose one wisely:. It can be the beach, the park, the library, a cafeteria, your home, anyplace! Just pick one and go. You'll feel the magic.
Nowadays thanks to the internet, we can do many things at the same time. We can check our emails while we are working, while we are having fun in Facebook, while we are reading the newspaper, or while we are watching a video. If you are focused on writing, multitasking becomes zero productivity. So if you are going to write in a computer, it’s better to close all the windows, and just write. Write is all you need. Don’t waste it. In Inkspired we are aware of this, by the way, and we are working on the right tool to get you focused on writing smarter; it’s called Inkspired Writer, you can check it out at https://www.getinkspired.com/writer
BYE, BYE, MOBILE PHONE
The mobile phone is a deadly weapon. It can distract us too much. Even when you think it’s just for a few seconds, those few seconds turn into long minutes, and those long minutes then turn into concentration failure. So even if it hurts, stay away from your phone for a while. You will remain alive. ;)
THE WEATHER MATTERS
Even if it doesn’t seem important, the weather is crucial. A study by Zwebner, Lee and Goldenberg (2014) proved that warm temperature increases product valuation. So our recommendation is that if you are going to write outdoors, do it in a warm environment.
GET EVERYTHING AT HAND
If you don’t want to lose time, the best thing you can do is to have everything you will possibly at your reach. The closer the better - the idea is to stop you from having to stand up and get those things near during your writing: Water, tea, coffee, healthy snacks, etc, all that stuff.
CHANGE PLACES EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE
Stay away from those places that make you fall asleep, or the ones that makes you want to run away immediately. Once you find one that suits you, change it every once in a while, because changes always allow your mind to open a little bit more, and it sparks creativity and inspiration.
It's writing o'clock. Your day gets better because you are going to tell your story. Writing is your passion so you want to make the most out of it. But first you need to take some things into account. Well yes, to become a writer you need to write, right. But you also need other factors that influence your work like… deciding to follow all the right advices about focus and prevent get blocked by distractions.
So, let’s start from scratch. Remember the first thing a writer need is inspiration. What inspires you the most? What turns your soul on fire? What do you want to talk about, but you don’t know how? If you don’t have a clue, then start writing ideas, words, examples, anything. Think about your passions. Those tiny things that moves you. Your past. Or someone else’s story. An amazing travel story you had back then when you were backpacking around south east asia. It’s important that you know the “what”: what are you going to write about; but also the Why. A writer without inspiration and direction is just a writer writing about banal things, not a creative writer.
After a few hours of brainstorming, or reading, or writing down some ideas, you finally got it. You found the subject that makes you feel like you can write about it forever. So the next step is getting the style you would like to use. There are many ways of getting an style… but my deepest recommendation is that you should READ, and read a lot. Read the most you can. Specially fiction. People say reading improves your writing, and it’s eternally true. Not just because you become aware of grammar mistakes and new vocabulary, but also because the more you read the faster you find your style, and the faster you discover new ways of telling the same things in many different ways with different words. Getting to know other writers personalities through their stories, make you identify yourself with yours.
Jan. 20, 2017, 6:31 p.m.
Now you have the style, so we move to the tone... It’s the moment to unleash the inner creative writer within you. Let the power of your imagination flow and don’t let that inspiration goes away. You need constancy. And if suddenly you get stuck, don’t get frustrated. Stop, breath and continue the next day. Don’t resist it. Don’t hold it back. Most of our obstacles are in our mind, and we are the ones preventing ourselves to keep going forward. Inspiration isn’t something that just disappears. Sometimes it can get blocked, but when is real, it prevails through time and space: after all, great stories, great novels are not written in a single day.