I have two blogs I want to talk about today because they have both provided me with some excellent writing advice – especially recently. Maybe you’ll find them to be useful too. In my last post I expressed my frustrations about the third draft of my WIP and how I couldn’t read past the first few paragraphs because I thought my beginning was so terrible!
First let me say thank you to those of you who gave me words of encouragement! I snapped myself out of it and dove into the fourth draft, starting at the beginning and writing notes about where I need to make major improvements and rewrites. Of course, I put lots of explanation points after “fix the beginning!!!!!” But once I got past that, I realized it’s not all bad. Some of it is good … if I dare say so (in my humble opinion).
I remembered reading a blog post that focused on how stories start. I went back to the article, Flog a Pro: Safe Haven and then visited the author, Ray Rhamey’s blog “Flogging the Quill.” Ray has a feature called “The Flogometer challenge” where writers submit the first page of their story to see if Ray and his blog readers would want to turn the page of the story to read more. He admits it is completely “subjective” but if his answer is no, he wouldn’t turn the page, he provides feedback on how to improve the beginning to help the writer grab the reader. His blog readers can vote on whether or not they would turn the page and they also leave constructive criticism.
I read about a dozen story beginnings and his feedback for each one to help me get a better sense of how to improve my beginning. Some of the feedback was harsh but accurate. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to put my beginning up there, but reading through those brave writer’s first pages helped!
I think I know what I need to do to fix the way my story starts. I’ll be working on that this week.
Who you calling funny?
The other blog I want to share with you is Wordplay by K.M. Welland. She gives high quality writing advice and in high quantity. I have a back log of articles to read from her, but this guest post by Gene Perret, How Humor Can Make You a Better Writer gave me a nice challenge that will help my writing. I know, for some, humor comes across so naturally in your writing but it’s definitely an area of improvement for me, so I’m going to accept this challenge and try to create “short, pithy one-liners” that are clever and humorous. If I ever come up with any, maybe I’ll tweet them out. I’m not very good at Tweeting, so this is my challenge to me: Work on humorous one-liners and tweet them. But please, don’t hold your breath! I do NOT want to be held responsible for anyone’s near death experiences 🙂
Do you have any funny one liners of your own to share? I’d love to see them! So far they are harder to come up than I expected!