writing advice for today

March 18, 2015

A lot of writers talk about how writing is like describing the movie playing in their minds.  I do that, too.  But you have to be careful.  You have to make sure you’re not just writing down endless inconsequential details and movements, that your characters aren’t constantly blinking and fiddling with their hair and sighing, because that fills in the space of the pacing you’re seeing in that mental movie.

Instead of focusing on describing the movie playing in your mind, think about the effect your words have on the reader.  You aren’t trying to replicate a movie; your trying to prompt a visceral, emotional, intellectual reaction in your reader.  See the words the way they would.  Make sure they’re evoking what you want them to.

I find this helps with revising immensely.



One Response to “writing advice for today”

  1. Very well put – the wife and I were talking just the other day about how many writers today aren’t writing books, they’re writing TV shows. Chapters tend to end not at the end of a scene, but rather at the cliff-hanging point, like they have to keep you tuned in through the commercials. for some it works, but for most it’s just annoying.

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