Posts Tagged ‘editing’

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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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Kill Your Darlings

October 28, 2012

Skeletons. Shriveled pumpkin vines. Grim reaper masks. Halloween has arrived.

Fall is a time for death. As morbid as it might sound, dying represents a powerful part of life’s natural cycle. The reality is that without death, there would be no change, no regrowth, and no fresh beginnings. How is this related to writing, you ask? Kill your darlings! It’s a long-held phrase in the writing world, and one not to take lightly.

All authors write prolific passages, esoteric phrases, lines of wisdom and earnest meanings. But really? Cut them. A reader wants to be led down a path but not told what to think. As valuable as your words may seem to you, they may not be all that valuable for the reader. Once a writer is able to cut their words, the writing gets better. It opens the possibility of new, better ideas. And if you must, cut and paste the perfect passage to a file. You can open it up and see those little darlings anytime your heart desires.