The Insecure Writers Support Group hosts a blog hop the first Wednesday of every month. We’re encouraged to “Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.” The group offers an optional question each month to write about. For August, the question is:
What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
To check out some of the other great writers sharing their thoughts, check them out here.
Don’t leave me hanging!
This is really the only thing I could think of that bothers me when I saw the question prompt for this month. I can’t think of anything I’d feel strongly enough about to call it a pet peeve. I don’t know if there are things that irritate me that I simply don’t think about when I’m not running across that annoying trait. Or, am I simply harder on myself than I am on others? That does seem to be one trait that many of us who relate to the ‘insecure’ part of this group have in common. Many of us tend to beat ourselves up worse than we do others.
When I began musing about what could be a pet peeve, one book, in particular, jumped to mind. I finished reading it two or three months ago. It was set in the post-Civil War days when the country was still in the throes of uncertainty and chaos. It’s a time period I enjoy reading. And the book itself was good. But the author threw in so many problems that never got resolved, it bothered me. Now, I understand the need to add conflict throughout the story. But one issue was repeated several times. Something about an errant uncle and finding gold. Because it was repeated, I felt it was important, and kept waiting to see how it was going to be resolved.
And the next thing I knew…the ladies were riding off into the sunset, so to speak. Maybe not the sunset, but they rode off in a wagon…still without any news about the uncle or the gold or if it was going to help them out.
That was it.
And I was disappointed. I felt like the author had tried to set the book up for a series. Which is possible. But my proverbial nose was so out of joint I didn’t even go see if there were any books that came after. Most books I keep and pass on to my sister and mom. This one I didn’t. It went straight in the bag that went to the thrift store. I wasn’t going to pass the book along for another reader to end up frustrated at the end, waiting for a resolution that never came to be.
Maybe I have a pet peeve after all.
Here are three sites with great resources of writing tips. They’ll keep you busy. Or scan the lists for some of the sites that are most helpful to you.
Writing Tips – The Best Writing Tips for Writers
Do you need tips to help you become a more productive writer? Do you need tips to help you write that next viral article? Below are some of the best writing tips on this blog.
- 10 Productivity Tips for Writers
- 9 Lessons I Learned in 8 Months of Writing for Income
- How to Write Great Content when You Don’t Feel Like It
- Two Ingredients of Awesome: Content and Metaphor
- How to Write Content that Gets Read
How to Write Your Memoir
“… 99.9 percent of people lead boring lives. But every single one of them is trying to make some sense out of his or her existence, to find some meaning in the world, and therein lies the value and opportunity of memoir. It’s therapeutic for the writer, and it eventually even helps his or her descendants understand themselves better.”
Tips From the Masters
You will find pearls of writing wisdom in these pithy lists by 21 masters of their craft, such as: Andrew Motion: 10 Techniques to Spark the Writing – Expert writing tips, Annie Proulx: 5 Techniques for Good Craftsmanship – Expert writing tips, or Billy Wilder: 10 Screenwriting Tips
Writing from a Different Gender Perspective
I have to admit it, my easiest characters are women, usually in the thirty to fifty year age range. Writing POV from a male perspective? That becomes difficult. (And they usually end up being too close to my ex for comfort.)
I was excited to see this post, Gender Bending: Writing a Different Gender Than Your Own, by Janice Hardy. She has some excellent advice about writing rich, dimensional characters of the other gender. Here’s two of her tips. Go check out Jane Hardy’s Fiction University for the full article.
Focus on the character, not the gender.
If you try to “write a woman who…” you might get stuck trying to be “a woman.” But write about “a character who…” and you’ll find yourself thinking more about what that character will do and how they’ll act in ways that fit the story and the situation. They’re a person first, a gender second.
Remember no two people are alike, regardless of gender.
“Men are like X” or “women always Y” don’t apply. My husband breaks all kinds of those rules, and I’m not your typical gal. Avoid the stereotypes and even have fun with them a little. Have men that love shoes, women who are rabid for sports. Let your men (or women) be as different from each other as they are from the opposite sex. A group of men won’t all have the same feelings about things, same as a group of anything won’t have the same feelings.
How is it for you? Can you write from the opposite gender’s perspective?
Browsing through You Tube videos for guided meditations, I stumbled upon this one: The Five Minute Miracle. Intrigued, especially since it was only a five minute meditation, I had to check it out.
The focus of the meditation was about using your imagination to create a life full of what you desire. While it didn’t get very detailed, which naturally you can’t do in such a short time frame, it kept repeating the phrase ‘imagination’.
I wondered if this also couldn’t be applied to our writing. After all, isn’t that what our writing is? A world of words created on paper – a result of our writer’s imagination? My first thought was for the fictional tales I’m in the process of weaving. Yet, even non-fiction articles and books require our imagination and creative thought processes to write an intelligent, inspiring, and cohesive work.
Would this work to help open the doors of my imagination wider, prior to my writing session? I’m going to try it for a week. After all, what do I have to lose? It’s only five minutes. Every day this week, before I sit down to write, I’ll commit five minutes to listen this meditation.
Check it out. Take five minutes and see what you think. Do you think the Five Minute Miracle can help us with our writing goals too?
Y: Young Adult
Here’s a few affirmations for those that write in the Young Adult genre.
- Memorable characters abound in my Young Adult writing.
- The details I add bring my Young Adult novel to life.
- My Young Adult voices are realistic.
- My Young Adult books tell meaningful stories.
- My Young Adult characters are well-developed and believable.
- My Young Adult stories are diverse, imaginative, and unique.