USING THE MINI-SKIRT RULE
One of the golden rules of writing is the ‘mini-skirt rule.’ Using the mini-skirt rule can certainly make your prose sexier and vibrant; if you get my drift.
The rule indicates that you should ‘keep your prose long enough to cover everything, but short enough to keep it interesting for your readers.’
Don’t have your writing dressed up like a Victorian lady trussed up in a ball gown with girdles and multi-layered petticoats, topped off with a jacket and a bountiful hat of peacock feathers and flowers. Phew! That is literally exhausting to think of.
It’s a fine art to write in a strategic manner and to create a balance between keeping the bare necessities with some flesh to the bones and over spilling the prose with excesses.
For writers of fiction, don’t waste your words and bore your readers to such tears that your story or your book ends up in the dust gathering pile of books that went unread.
When it comes to length, follow this rule in keeping your story short and engrossing and work at making your book ‘unputdownable.’
‘Cut. Cut. Cut.’
- Cut words, like those unnecessary adverbs.
Things to consider when editing. READ More…
Argh! The Writers’ Block
There are days that you would find yourself scribbling and tapping away with much zeal and then the following day you wake up to a blank mind that stretches from one day to the other, then weeks…months…and you are waiting for the inspiration to ignite. You’ve just been visited by the gremlin that blocks creativity aka writers’ block.
Writers’ block can last for as long as it chooses if you let it. It’s a common malaise that every writer struggles with now and again, but the most important thing is what you do when faced with it.
Writing is an art that takes a lot of brain power, creative energy, focus and mental acuity each time. It’s not a science that has a ‘Eureka formula fix’ as such, we have to approach its solution with that in mind.
Igniting that inspiration is not going to happen unless you take it in hand and having been writing for a while, here are some of the prescribed methods I use to doctor my creative constipation to enable easier passage of inspiration. Read More…
Write on the toilet
Writing till you get that book done may involve some quirky habits like writing on the toilet. As unconventional and as shitty as this approach might sound, have you ever observed that loads of inspiration flood into your mind when you are on the potty or taking a shower?
Surprisingly, the onslaught of inspiration has a way of dwindling down or completely evaporating like a mist when you now settle down to get the writing done.
Here’s a tip…
What are your greatest writing fears?
Writing is not for the faint of heart and to build a successful career as a writer is not without its’ fair share of anxieties.
At various points in their pursuit, most writers have experienced writing fears, so this is not a challenge peculiar to you.
I remember when decided I to follow my passion and started writing actively, I had bubbles of anxiety in my stomach for days, I lost several nights of sleep wondering what made me think that I was good enough for anyone to want to spend their time reading my words.
Coupled with that, I enrolled for a creative writing course and as much as I tried not to take the instructors critic to heart, I never looked forward to hearing from her and was literally developing an ulcer from anguish. After much angst, I decided to put my anxiety to an end, to believe in myself and chose to face my fears.
Your fear might be one or even all the following: READ More…
Curb the exclamations!
Guilty as charged. I am one of those writers who loves to emphasize words with punctuations and I believe there are a lot of us. It’s a no-no.
As much as you would love to make that emphasis, avoid using a lot of exclamation marks or using them with a question mark to tell a reader how important something is.
Minimal use of exclaiming punctuations serves as an opportunity to explore your descriptive capabilities as a writer.
- The Exclamation point (!): Added to show yelling (in a dialogue ) or extreme emotion (in a narrative).
Don’t use more than one (!!), and avoid using it with a question mark (!?).
Most editors discourage its usage, the rule of thumb is not more than two or three exclamation points in an entire manuscript.
This is because overuse of the exclamation point creates room for weaker writing when the writer uses it consistently to show emotion. Instead, a writer should use a stronger dialog or narrative that will better convey that emotion. Read more…
To use or not to use adverbs is one big controversy in the writing world. The rule is to use them sparingly if at all.
I loved using adverbs because they were convenient, but as I started understudy on how to write professionally it was challenging to learn how not to make the mistake of the constant use of adverbs.
I still get tempted to – by the force of habit – but with consistent practice, it gets better.
Finding uninterrupted time to sit down and write to meet your writing goals is a challenge faced by many writers’ most especially when you have a full-time job coupled with managing your family and other demands in-between.
Lack of time is one of the reasons why some wait till November’s’ NaNoWriMo to tackle that novel that they have in mind and possibly take some time off work to do so.
You need not wait till a certain time of the year to start working on those writing projects of yours. You could try the simple step-by-step way to write a novel now. Read More…
Essential Writers Tips – Halt mid-sentence
When writing a story knowing when to halt mid-sentence is an excellent writing trick that helps you to pick up easily from where you stopped.
Resist the temptation to write the entire plot as it flows ceaselessly because there are days that your flow will probably come in trickles if they come at all.
Naturally, our minds don’t like unfinished riddles and guessing games and this trick of interrupting your flow has the added advantage of keeping your mind at work on the plot even when you are at rest. Read more...