Posts Tagged ‘edit’

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Flight to Spain

July 8, 2014

This morning I watched my daughter’s plane taxi from the gate, bound for Spain. Like a bad Julia Robert’s movie, I bawled my eyes out. Ellie’s been gone before, but today felt different, more painful. Maybe it was because Spain is so far from Colorado. Perhaps it was because she’ll be gone all summer. Maybe it was because I have a crazy imagination that plays dirty tricks on me throughout the night. And perhaps, most likely of all, the pain was all mine, simply having a difficult time saying good-bye.

 

Ellie will be 17 next month. She’s ready to find her way. And yet, it’s hard to let go.

 

As I drove home, exhausted and red-eyed, I thought about my writing. The process of my work, putting pen to paper, has always helped me understand my life and vice versa. Recalling my choked good-bye made me remember that letting go is part of the work, both in life and in my writing.

 

Advanced writers craft pages upon pages, only to delete them and begin again. It’s never easy. We love our words. We love our babies. But for the health of the manuscript and the health of our children, it’s sometimes best to say good-bye.

 

No doubt that I’ll get teary again this summer as I think about Ellie, but I’ll have tools to help me cope. I’ll call, I’ll email, I’ll text. And before I know it, she’ll be back. By now I’ve got a tool kit for my writing to help me edit—I’ll scratch, I’ll copy, I’ll delete. And before I know it, they’ll be a chapter.

 

It’s okay to be sad. But we need to let go, words and kids included.

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Take Charge of Your Writing

April 28, 2013
  1. Carve out time to write, even if it’s only fifteen minutes a day.
  2. Create an atmosphere for good writing habits (no laundry allowed).
  3. Be flexible. If you can’t focus on a chapter, write a character sketch instead.
  4. Observe.
  5. Read.
  6. Subscribe to a new blog.
  7. Join a critique group.
  8. Sign up for a class or a workshop.
  9. Edit your work, again.
  10. Write.
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Character Sketch 102

November 18, 2012

Last blog I provided a character sketch to help you develop your characters. This time, I’m putting a different spin on it. Besides the basics, like what a person is wearing or where they live, most character sketches ask questions about what a character likes, wants, and hopes. In this character sketch, think dark. What would your character never do? Then, think about what would happen if they did it. Right there, you have yourself a scene full of emotion and tension.

Here’s a start…

Where would your character refuse to live?

What would your character never eat?

What would they never wear?

What political party would they not support?

What magazine would they not pick up at the airport?

What kind of doctor would they refuse to see?

What ride at an amusement park would they not get on?

How would they react if they did any of these things? Ready, set, write!

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Character Sketch 101

November 8, 2012

From time to time, I blog about character development. I believe it is so crucial to writing, that I’m devoting the next three blogs to help create interesting characters.

Details about a character are important. Sometimes, authors get stuck. It can be a challenge developing details that don’t have to do with clothing and hair color. Character sketches provide questions to help writers think deeply about their darlings.

Below is one of my character sketches, but don’t limit yourself. Google a few more options and really think about what makes your characters tick. Remember, not all of it needs to be added to your work. As long as you know your character inside and out, that’s all that matters.

Character Sketch 

Carrie Brown-Wolf

carrie@carriebrownwolf.com

Name:

Age:

Gender:

Siblings:

Parents:

Children:

Pets:

Married? To Whom?

Ethnicity?

Religion?

Where do they live?

Favorite:

-color

-ice-cream

-breakfast

-person

-animal

-number

-state

-sport

-flavor of toothpaste

-soup

-ride at an amusement park

-candy

-room

What makes them sad?

What can make them angry?

What emotion do they almost never show? Why?

What scares them?