When Writing Think Small?! What Are You NUTS?!? Part 8 of 9
August 20, 2009
Getting to the end already? Okay, much as I miss these wonderful adventures, I have two more parts to this series, and we haven’t tried a couple of things yet, going deep sea diving, we’re going on a treasure hunt. Okay this is what we need, some underwater grid maps, waterproof pens, diving equipment, lights, cameras, some archaeological knowledge of the area, and a bit of cultural history. Oh and anti venom, and containers and a boat, and some radar knowledge and Let’s go!
Stop dragging your heels! Come back here! of course you can do this, it’s just water, not that hard. Really if honeymooners in Hawaii can do this so can we, and we won’t have fish to deal with just dirt, and maybe the occasional stingray. I said Come Back Here!
It’s like that sometimes, writing, you dig for treasures, and you find them, be it a word or two or something like a paragraph. As a writer you know it’s a treasure but it’s covered in “dirt” or finding out that the rest of the page needs to be cut, it’s poisoning the rest of the writing. That can be hard especially if it’s only a small little thing such as a sentence or a word.
How do you know what makes this so important? A bit of knowledge that is all. Let me tell you a story of my own writing. I started out small, and then got a bit of a break editing and writing parts of a 50th anniversary bock for a church history. I went there so it was easy right? Wrong. Dead wrong. Given that I was doing two things at once, and should have delegated…
But back to the point, I had to write a little story about a longtime member who while very forgiving, was a stickler for sentences and flow, and most important sounds quality. Let me ask you this.. how many times can you put the word “John” in a 300 word “story?” Okay well I did, ah.. hm, about 40 times. Since he has past away, his son never ceases to remind me that he is in fact the Junior, and it still doesn’t sound right to him. Of course it doesn’t sound right, now as a more experienced writer I can say that.
But I needed the knowledge to know this. I find that when writing it helped helps to do a bit of research, write what you know at least a bit about. When I have writer’s “block” it’s usually because I’m frustrated about an aspect to a research point. I write non-fiction, and that needs to be correct on all fronts.
I take memories and transform them into something people will want to read, but I also need to do research with it, to find the gems, and to avoid the dangers. There are many dangers, a misspelled word, a date that is incorrect, the list can go on. To get unstuck with that I just wander to my library wall and get out a map or a dates book.
If I am writing fiction i do the same thing, I check things out to make sure that it’s correct, even in fiction there are something you can’t “make up.” You can indulge yourself a bit more, but even in fiction a wrong thing can ruin it for some readers.
Still that is where editing and writing a marketing plan comes in handy. Then you know that your writing will be good. With a marketing plan, you understand the reader, or at least a part of the readership. Then you can feel good about your writing, and eventual publication.
My Question for you today is this: How do you learn to find the treasure in the dirt, or better yet how do you know you’ve found treasure?