WEEDING OUT YOUR WRITING Written by Arleen M. Kaptur
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Weeding is a great pastime. Its a bit of a break from intensive writing, so that you can absorb, digest, and relax. In reality, it’s reading your written material as a reader, not a writer. The weeds that writers grow can prove to be pretty stubborn hindrances. They pop up whenever and wherever they choose. They could be our favorite or pet words that are used too often, or they could be a private belief that we inadvertently add to everything we write. So, writers have to weed just like gardeners. The only difference is that we sometimes plant weeds ourselves. Somehow they didn’t seem like weeds when we chose them.
Whatever you write will never be harmed by some careful weeding activity. But be gentle, because sometimes when you pull that weed, your own feelings feel tug. Of course, we all put a little bit of ourselves into everything we write, and that’s good. Its when we add just a tad too much that our final product suffers. So, pull those weeds, take care not to disrupt good plants, and harvest will amaze you. Happy weeding! ENJOY ! ©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 June
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, cookbooks, motivational booklets, and the novel: Searching For Austin James Websites: http://www.arleenssite.com http://www.Arleens-RusticLiving.com http://www.webpawner.com/users/rusticliving http://topica.com/lists/simpleliving
The Writer's MindWritten by Jeff Heisler
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• Logical Formal- In this mode your creativity is turned off almost entirely. You’re thinking like a mathematician now. Outline and plot your writing, but only to enhance structure- no new ideas here- just organizing. Think of this as finial edit of your plan or outline. No major creative changes- just focus on plot or outline itself. • Critical Freestyle- Get out your red pen and mark up your manuscript. Be merciless- let all of that self criticism and doubt flood onto page in red ink. When you feel yourself arguing against an edit- ignore it. This mode is for criticism only. Criticism can be general or specific. You could mark up your comma usage, or you could make a note that this portion of story is weak. Don''t think of solutions- not now. Just criticism. • Critical Formal- Go over your marks and look for technical reasons why writing is not working. Write some suggestions for improvement, but not in a originally creative sense. For example, instead of thinking of a million ways to make reader more sympathetic to your character, you would write, "Writing in this passage is weak. Lack of reader sympathy for character. Find way to increase sympathy." If you were to go beyond that and start thinking of creative ways to do that- you're in trouble. Wait, be patient. Always know what mode you need to be in. Keep each mode separate, and you'll find writing is easier and more enjoyable.
Jeff Heisler is a freelance writer and novelist. You can read more of his writing and visit his collection of writer's resources at http:www.heislerink.comwriteaway.htm