The last weekend of January is upon us and I am wondering where the month went. For me, I was buried in editing and rewriting parts of my novel. I began to think of ways to broaden my writing experience.
I remembered back to some of the lessons I learned in college, some I have learned from reading articles and some by my own trial and error. I thought brushing up on all of them might help my writing and editing, especially when I had to add new scenes to flesh out a WIP to up the word total or a scene to make it flow seamlessly into my plot line.
I began by reading a passage in a book and wondering how I would change it. I wrote a new scene adding my own ideas and characters. Of course, the original piece was better than mine, but it gave me a chance to try and write when I had a good idea to follow. I did the same with an old Sherlock Holmes mystery movie. I paused the movie and studied the screen. I knew what happened, but I did my best to write the scene as I saw it and then write a second scene changing everything. Doing both exercises helped me see the characters and scene in a different light.
I also tried my hand at writing scenes I had never tried before. I don’t like graphic violence and never wrote a murder scene that didn’t leave most of the action to the imagination. I tried and failed. If becoming a great writer meant I had to write a graphic murder scene or love scene than I will be doomed to be a bad writer. I don’t think that’s the case.
What makes us good writers is writing what we are comfortable with. Forcing ourselves to write something we hate or doesn’t move us will not come across well. It may seem forced or unnatural. If we follow our passion in our work, it will come across well. People will feel it as they read our work. Remember back to assignments you were forced to do in a subject you hated. They were not as well written as one from a course you loved, I’m sure. At least that was my experience.
After all these fun exercises I found the best place for me to be mentally when I write is in the midst of my plot or the head of my character. If my passion for the character or scene comes through, I know I have written the best scene I can. Isn’t that what we all strive for? Good luck with your writing and for those of you like me in the midst of cold and snow, hang in there. February is almost here and spring begins in March.