I love Writers’ Digest Magazine (which, remember, is available for borrowing from the Hemet main library where we meet.) In the latest issue (September 2016), Leigh Anne Jasheway talks about different ways to improve your writing. Here are the points that resounded with me:
Give your main character a fantasy
Jasheway says this is a good way to portray hope, longing and/or dissatisfaction in a character. “…Fantasies can be portrayed fleetingly in small, spontaneous scenes. Consider a tennis player who takes a moment during the final match to imagine his ex-girlfriend coming back to him if he wins…” She says you can tell a lot about a character by what she or he dreams about.
Choose to be aware
I rush through my days. Maybe you do, too. But as writers, we need a data base of descriptions that will help us paint scenes in our stories. What if we made it a point to look around us more mindfully (a good strategy for a lot of reasons) and collect descriptions like we do recipes or baseball cards or salt-and-pepper shakers? It could be a new hobby. Right now I’m looking around my desk and I see a whiteboard, blank but for one word, center top: Becoming.
I also see a collection of paper clips, fasteners, thumb drives, and one big eraser, all thrown haphazardly into a glass dish. A schedule, taped to a lamp. A stamp holder, empty of its roll. A note taped to a vase. A recycle bin, spilling over.
That’s within one little room. What might you see if you went outside?
Some of these items are meaningless, but some, in the right context, could tell you something about the office’s inhabitant. And surely we could find even more interesting ones, if we looked.
Both of these ideas intrigued me, so I’m going to try them. When I see you at an upcoming meeting, maybe we can share discoveries.
I’m excited about our next speaker. Ed Lopatin is an experienced writer, author, and speaker. He’s bringing a ton of good information for you about how to choose a publisher who will be a great business partner for you as you pursue your writing dream. Click here to read more. Stay cool, and I’ll see you soon. – Lynne Spreen