Ten Rules To Write By

Sometimes when you’re not writing, you’re reading about writing – if that makes sense.  Right now, I’m in a holding pattern for my second fiction book, because I’m truly not feeling it at the moment.  It’s okay; things happen that pause you from writing now and again.  Bad thing about the pause is that I’m enrolled in April’s Camp NaNo.  It’ll suck to not finish a NaNo, since I’ve finished the previous two times I’ve competed.  But you know what?  I have to do what’s right for me.

But I digress.

I came across a wonderful article by One Salty Blond titled “Ten useful writing tips from a frustrated editor“.  And while individual writers won’t have every single one of these idiosyncrasies in their stall of writing habits, they probably have at least one or two that they can take to heart.  I know that I’m guilty of a few of these…  For example, I try not to use “very” at all, because “very tired” sounds pedestrian, when “exhausted” is so much more descriptive.  I may have one or two, so when I’m done, I’ll go back through and search for them.  Writing can be a stream of consciousness for many people, and you may put words down on the page that you don’t mean.  That’s what editing is for – both self and professional.

Of all of the items on the list, I think I like “make powerful sentences stand alone” the best.  And I can’t describe it any other way than to paint you a scene.

Consider this:

Justin was ripped out of his sound sleep by some unknown noise that seems to echo off the darkened walls.  The only light coming in was from the window, a glint of moonlight shining through and casting eerie shadows across the foot of of the bed.  He waited, the only sound being a whisper of wind coming through the windowframe.  As he closed his eyes and turned over, he heard the doorknob click.  The door opened by itself.  Pulling the blanket to his chin, he watched as a pair of glowing red eyes glaring into the room.  He blinked, filled with terror until his roommate’s voice boomed through and the light was flicked on, nearly blinding him.  “Stop stealing my smokes!”

And now consider this:

Justin was ripped out of his sound sleep by some unknown noise that seems to echo off the darkened walls.  The only light coming in was from the window, a glint of moonlight shining through and casting eerie shadows across the foot of of the bed.  He waited, the only sound being a whisper of wind coming through the windowframe.  As he closed his eyes and turned over, he heard the doorknob click.

The door opened by itself.

Pulling the blanket to his chin, he watched as a pair of glowing red eyes glaring into the room.  He blinked, filled with terror until his roommate’s voice boomed through and the light was flicked on, nearly blinding him.  “Stop stealing my smokes!”

See how just by changing the spacing and breaking it out creates more tension?  So awesome…  I love the power of words!

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