Monday, April 4, 2011

What's makes a good writing day?

As a writer you sit down with pen and paper or your computer and you start to write. How do you measure whether it was a good writing day?

Is it the amount of words you write or the number of pages that come from the words? Do you sit down and target a number or do you let the story and the words flow and stop when the creativity halts?

Me, I just write. I don't force it. I let the characters takeover and write whatever they tell me to.

You think I am kidding?

Any author will tell you that you can plot as much as you like, but when push comes to shove it is the character who will drive the story and inevitably, he or she will shift it on you.

Maybe the number of words or pages is not your measuring stick. Perhaps you measure by the story itself and where you've gotten to in your storyline or how well you feel the characters and story have developed at that point in time?

I rather like this idea. I love feeling the story geling and the characters coming to life. As a writer you absolutely know if what you've written works or if it's just trash. And if you don't, your critique group will. [grin]

I mean how many times have you written something and then afterwards determined that although that was some really great writing it does not fit in the story?

No big deal, right? You save it for another story on another day, right? I do. Never, ever throw any writing away. For every story I have written I have a "cut" document.

The "cut" document consists of all the words, sentences, paragraphs, and yes chapters that I have chopped from a story then saved in case I want to use it in the future. It's like having your own slush pile.

Perhaps a good writing day is a day in which you just simply write. Maybe it's a blog post like this, or maybe it's a poem, or maybe it's writing a letter to a friend.

How do you measure whether it was a good writing day?


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