A SILENT WORKOUT FOR YOUR WRITING

images_028Yes, you read WRITE. Have some fun with your work and sharpen your skills at the same time. Sound intriguing? Let’s get started.

First you need to use your current WIP or one you just put up because nothing seemed right – or both, but separately. It might help to print out the first five chapters.Why? You are going to critique your own work and you need to be comfortable and have a red, yes red, pen ready for action.

When we write, we use our words to paint pictures. Sometimes, the pictures are cloudy, or we use the wrong color, or stick our fingers in where we shouldn’t. Maybe your reader cannot feel the painted words, or the color does not set well with the them. Whatever, the reason, we have not given our reader a true picture with our words. We can see them, but we need THE READER TO FEEL THEM.

Now, go to your video and pull out a movie. Your choice, but try to get one in the same genre as your work. All set, ready to go? Not quite, until you turn off the sound. I hear groans and why’s all over the place. Because, this is one way to see what you need to write to get the picture over to your reader.

In movies, we always see what is happening. In writing, we need to let the reader see what is happening with words. Watch certain movie scenes and, if any can match some of your scenes, hit the “STOP” button at any time and shuffle through your printed pages. Do you find yourself telling the reader what is happening? If so, grab your red pen  and mark NEED TO SHOW. Then go back to your movie and see if you can put into words what is happening on the video.

This may take several rounds, but once you get a handle on the movie scenes and your work scenes, you can have lots of fun, put new phrases together, and learn the art of showing by painting word pictures.

Now, when you get stuck in a scene or on a scene, grab a video. When you go to the movies, enjoy each scene with the recognition of ‘oh, that’s how they do that.’ And come home and see what you can do to your writing. Even movies have to have a written script, but it is the director and the actors who make the film come alive.

You are now the director, and all the actors of your novel. Make your words jump off the page right in front of the reader, or pull the reader into your novel with your picture words. You can do it.

Happy Directing. Happy Acting. Happy Writing.

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AN OFF DAY

The OtherlifeDo any of you wake up and know the events of the day will not be smooth?

When I opened my eyes , this cold morning, an OFF DAY greeted me. My head tried to list everything from top to bottom before I could get in a good stretch. Slinging my feet out of warm covers to the cold floor hurt. My toes could not find their slippers. One good thing: SUNSHINE poured into my room.

The coffee process started, I knew this would put a little ‘umph’ into my day. Turning around I choke. All the household chores done the day before showed dust particles on every surface. Dark, dreary days hide the magic of dust and dust bunnies. Then, the sun brightens the windows and dust magic stares back at me over the furniture, floors, and all surfaces.

I blow across the desk, moving some of the sprinkles away from my computer. With the lid open, I hit the ‘on’ key. The screen is filled with sparkles. I continue without bothering about the wipe cloth. At least my brain has strength to write a few pages.

A few paragraphs later, I try to print out the work. I can edit online, but prefer paper and pen to get every mistake, well, most of them. Printer hums, paper goes through, no print. The ink cartridge shows ’empty.’ I check the desk drawer, no make that drawers, for more ink. Nada. Positive I bought two cartridges, I run through some receipts. Only one shows up.

Okay, forget about the printed page until later. It is too cold to jump up and head to the closest office supply store. Besides my robe and slippers are keeping me warm. More coffee. I need more coffee. Back in the kitchen, my stomach growls. Breakfast. I check the cupboards and spot some Brown-Maple oatmeal. This sounds good. A small amount of time passes and I smell a funny order. My fingers are on the keyboard and my oatmeal is scorching in the pan. Good bye, breakfast.

Words are pounding in my head, “Let me out. Let me out.” I comply with no oatmeal but another cup of coffee would help. I watch the words fall from my head to my fingertips. I continue plugging away at the keys, and ignore the ringing phone. I keep writing and the phone keeps ringing. Not to worry. Voice mail will pick up. I am too far away to hear the words, but they will be there later.

I sneak a peek at the clock. Yee! whiskers. I need to get ready to teach my class. If I hurry, I can make it with time to spare. But, no. A tennis shoe has dirty laces and the one stretch top I wanted to wear is in the dirty clothes. Thank heavens, the toothpaste tube is full.

Dressed,  I head to my car knowing there is plenty of gas. I can stop at the store for ink. Time tells me, NO. My brunch will be a couple of bananas. Not a good way to start the day, but work with what you have.

Class is great. Maybe the bananas turned the OFF, off, and I can have a neat day after all. I smile. Then it hits me. Why didn’t I hit the early morning with a bigger smile, a better attitude , and a few shrugs of the shoulders.

I believe, we all need an OFF DAY to bring our lives into the sunshine. Stress fills each day and the smile, the laughter, and the lightness of spirit gets pushed back. Today, let all the brightness you can into your life. If you aimed for 50 pages and got 20 done; hey, you worked. Now, go play. You’ll have company when you get home….dust bunnies.

ENJOY YOUR DAY.