Saturday, April 28, 2018

A to Z - All Things Writing: You Know What You Mean

Welcome to the Blogging A to Z Challenge, where, this month, I'll be focusing on all things writing. This may be a random jumping around of topics within my theme, but hopefully something somewhere will be useful to someone. (V is for vague - see that last sentence.) Check out all the participants here . Now, lets get on with today's letter.

Y is for You Know What You Mean

The biggest issues many writers have is getting what is in their head onto the page. You know what you mean. You know your story and your characters. We've already covered how beta readers and critique groups can help point these areas out. But you can find some of them too.

The best way to do that is to give yourself some time away from your story so that you can approach it with fresh eyes. It's tempting to churn out a draft, tweak it with a few edits and toss it out into the world but your story could be so much better if you give it a little time to age and grow.

So finish you story and put it away. Go write something else. Be that a short story, a few short stories, another entire novel or edit another novel. The point is to get your mind working on something entirely different. When you're ready, be that weeks, months, or however much longer, read your story as if you've never read it before.

You might be surprised at what parts you enjoy and what you find yourself skimming over. Or what you thought you had explained that now you're wondering about. Maybe you don't remember what all the characters looked like or how they were involved with one another from the notes you had on paper or in your head that never really made into the story. Wasn't there backstory on a character? I swear this scene was going somewhere important, but I can't remember why I kept it. Guess what? You can do something about all of that. Put those things into the story.

Read that story aloud, either yourself or have your computer read it for you. You'll probably find missing words that you swear where there because you know what you mean.

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Prefer paperback? The print book goes live on April 20. Reviews are always appreciated.


  1. Approach it with fresh eyes. That's what I ddi with the memoir.

  2. Hi Jean - how true and I'm sure I should do more ... cheers Hilary

  3. This is very good advice. I feel like having parallel writing projects makes all of them go a little easier :)

    The Multicolored Diary: Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales

  4. I have no problem staying away from my writing, in fact, I do it on a regular basis. sometimes it really is hard to stop and work on other things, you really do need a clear head to fully get your story together. & you're right, sometimes we miss things if we know the story too well.

    have a lovely day.


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