Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Do's and Don't's by...well, by you

First of all...will someone tell me how to write the word don't's -- don'ts -- dont's (no, that one is certainly wrong) Grammar police anywhere?
Ok, on with today's thought:
As aspiring writers, we have read books, attended conferences, enjoyed great blog posts from fellow writers --

all in an effort to glean a little insight into the writing process. To learn, to improve our craft, to move closer to our goals....and to have a little fun along the way.
Such fun is the purpose of this post.
Let's all post one "DO" and one "DON'T" in the comment section. It can be anything.....anything at all.

something learned long ago or just yesterday

something you have worked into your skill set or something you strive for, but have not yet achieved

serious or goofy

you get the idea

Oh, I do hope you all particiapte

One more thing : these do not have to be original thoughts and you only have to give credit when you can remember the source. Let's keep it easy to play, shall we?

Ok, I'll go first:

DO: let your readers be smart

DON'T: rush the journey of writing (great post found here -- thanks, Lady Glamis. I've been pondering on it and it has helped)

see you in the comment section....oooh, I can't wait to get some good old fashioned advice :)


Marty said...

Do keep writing

Don't give up

Windsong said...

DO torture your characters. It keeps the world interesting and the reader reading. ;)

DON'T keep your sanity in a jar on the shelf. It tends to escape that way.

Cindy said...

Lol, Windsong. Torture your characters!

DO see a story in every experience in your life.

DON'T wait to write your masterpiece.(Treat everything you write like it is what is going to make a mark!)

I am going to stay tuned, this is such a neat idea.

Lady Glamis said...

DO study the craft of writing wherever and whenever you can.

DON'T feel like you have to please ANYBODY with your writing.

And you're welcome, Tess. I wrote the post as a good ol' reminder to myself to just freakin' slow down and enjoy the path in front of me. What's the rush!?

Wendy said...

Okay, I'm in love with this post idea and will be checking back in.

DO remember to laugh with your characters, their flaws, their mistakes, etc. Writing should be fun...we should enjoy it!

DON'T "underestimate the importance of body language." That one is thanks to Ursula from The Little Mermaid...but you know where I'm going w/ it...the whole show, don't tell. It's better to not to write in the dialogue, "I'm mad". Might as well show it somehow.

MaryJane said...

Fun! Fun!

DO: remember your set ups -- pulling those threads through the entire manuscript

DON'T: get too cutsey

And my vote for the apostrophe placement on donts is: don'ts

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

DO have a critique group!

DON'T send glitter or confetti with your submittals. (-Tracy Gates, Viking).

NEVER give up. Never, never never give up. (-Winston Churchill)

lucent1 said...

DO avoid prologues - especially if the prologue follows and introduction that comes after a forward (Elmore Leonard)

DON'T over use exclaimation points

Sharon aka Sapphire said...

Do network with people in the industry.

Don't stop reading because you are busy writing.

Jill Kemerer said...

I just found your blog and I love it! What a great idea to get everyone's Do's and Don'ts.

DO laugh out loud at your fabulous lines.

DON'T compare yourself to anyone else.

Crystal said...

This is fun, Tess!

DO write a story that you'd want to read (over and over)--make it THAT GOOD!

DON'T ever give up!

Tess said...

Wow! You guys are good. I'm pulling out my pen and notebook - some of these are keepers :)

Jeannie Campbell said...

DO research things you know nothing about - and sometimes Google won't cut it

DON'T give a character a mental disorder just to write their behaviors off.

okay...my don't stems from a pet peeve, but all the same....you'll have to see my post at seekerville on may 5.

Tess said...

Looking forward to it, Jeannie. Will you post a reminder on your blog that day? I'll keep an eye out for it...

Pool Girl said...

Do discard your first thought--you probably saw it somewhere or it's too obvious.

Don't stop writing when you think what you wrote is garbage--you're getting to the good stuff!

Janna Qualman said...

Hi, Tess! I'm here for the first time, and I like your blog. :)

DO write like you mean it.

DON'T use a voice that's not your own.

Tess said...

Welcome Janna, Pool Girl (Kimmie :D) , Jill and Marty and thanks to all of you - friends old and new - who posted a comment!

What fun I have had in this comment room with all of you today :D Great new thoughts -- great reminders of things I've let slide --

You guys are crack-a-lackin! (can you tell my kids have been watching Madagascar???)

lotusgirl said...

Do picture the scene you're writing in all its glorious detail.

Don't leave holes in your plotline.

Diana said...

Tess! This is fun!
DO...notice the extraordinary in what seems to be ordinary. Focus your attention using sensory details. Look closer and closer and closer--at a character, at a scene, at everything that might be laid out on the table or around the lilypad. Then look again. Write it out.

DON'T...let your internal editor get in the way especially of your first draft. Sometimes we try to make meaning too soon. Flow out the writing and (later) look back for the nugget.

*From my notes taken at the Highlights "Finding Your Voice" workshop.
"A writer with voice has the ability to illuminate the ordinary." - Kim Griswell