Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Do's and Don'ts

I found this picture searching the web this morning. I believe it came from this site. I added the TT.

This week’s Thursday Thirteen is a few do’s and don’ts for writers. Keep in mind this is my list and may or may apply to how you write.

1. Do – your research, from the weather to local food and attractions. You may not need it all but it’s better to know than not.

2. Don’t – assume that it’s the rainy season in June because it is in your home town. Trust me on this. If you’re wrong someone(s) will point it out loud and clear leaving you to look silly for not doing number 1

3. Do – try to write everyday. While this is not always possible, try it as much as possible even for a short time each day.

4. Don’t – go weeks without looking at your wip unless you’ve written ‘The End’ and are letting it rest prior to revisions. The longer you go without writing the harder it is to get back into the story. Your character’s will have grown while you were away, causing you to have to get to know them all over again.

5. Do – find a critique partner. A trusted one. Big thing here. When you start with a new cp make sure both sides understand that it’s just that. Starting. If it doesn’t work out then either side should be able to say so. Without feeling being hurt. This is your career.

6. Don’t – try to go it alone. A fresh pair of trusted eyes is amazing. (See the trusted theme here)

7. Do – attend workshops via the internet or in person. There are tons of great ones out there.

8. Don’t – think you know it all and can’t learn anything from another ‘Show Don’t Tell’ workshop. (Insert the name of any workshop there). There is always some nugget to learn in a workshop. Of course some nuggets are tiny and some are boulders but learning and improving your craft is just that.

9. Do – join a local chapter or an online chapter and RWA

10. Don’t – think you don’t need what number 9 has to offer. The encouragement, help, and information you will find in being a member of a local and/or online chapter is amazing. While being a member of RWA is not required to be published it doesn’t hurt and the opportunities available to you are great.

11. Do – write your voice and style. Number 5 talked about a critique partner. That is not someone to write your book for you. Ummm...that’s called a ghost writer. Learn from their crits and know when you have to say no this is my voice.

12. Don’t – drive yourself crazy with writing styles. I must be a plotter or I must be a pantser. Find out what works for you or for the particular manuscript you’re working on and stick with it.

13. Do – to quote the beloved and much missed Miss Snark, Write Well and Query Widely

14. Don’t – forget to read. As Stephen King says in his book On Writing if you don’t have time to read you don’t have time to write.

I realize there are fourteen instead of thirteen this week but I had to end it with even do’s and don’ts. It’s one of those strange things about me. :)

As I stated above these are a few of my own personal do’s and don’ts. There are more, so many more, which could be added.

With that said, it’s your turn. What your own do and don’t when it comes to writing?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,



Bill Clark said...

DO: Read Vicki's interview with Erica Ridley (link is in the comment section of Erica's blog for today).

DON'T: Let the turkeys get you down. Remember, there are more of them than there are of you, and if you get down to their level they will overwhelm you by brute force and sheer numbers.

DO: Write every day. Get up early before the house begins to stir and the phone begins to ring. This will give you inner balance and psychic peace, such that no matter how obstreperous the turkeys may get later in the day, you can laugh them to scorn, as the Psalmist says, and keep the quiet tenor of your way.

DON'T: Put off reading until bedtime when you're so tired you can only manage a page or two. At that rate you'll never read more than a book or two a year, and by the time you get to the end you'll have forgotten what happened in the beginning. Definitely not recommended procedure.

DO: Keep your priorities straight. If reading and writing are important to you, make them "1's". Grocery shopping is a "9" (we have to eat to live, or otherwise it would be a "10"). Day job? Remember Wordsworth: "Getting and spending we lay waste our powers." And also Tsongas: "No one on his deathbed ever wished he'd spent more time in the office." Prioritize accordingly.

DON'T: Do not come to the end of your life (in Thoreau's words) and find you have not lived. Too, too sad.

DO: Read your favorite blogs daily, and leave comments. How else do you think you'd be reading these words of wisdom? :-)

Wendi said...

Great post today, Vicki! And Bill's comments were very nice reminders too. Now back to "querying widely." :~D

Patricia W. said...

Great advice, Vicki (and Bill)! This would make a great regular feature, Vicki's Do's and Don'ts. If not weekly, at least once a month?

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Oops, I don't know how I got on your Linky twice.

I finally did that book meme you tagged me for and included it in my TT.

Great do's and don'ts - I have to ask... what's a "pantser"?

I miss Ms. Snark, too!!!

Bill - I concur about getting up early and writing. I used to write at night, but switched to mornings. I really love writing before anything else invades my thoughts.

Vicki said...

Danika, A panster is writing by the seat of your pants. Not really doing much plotting. Letting the story unfold as you go along.

December/Stacia said...

Excellent tips.

My dos and don'ts? Hmm.

Don't let the pressure get to you. Write the story you want to write.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Good list! I wholeheartedly agree! ;)

Vicki said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed this T13. It was fun to do.

Patricia, a monthly D&D...hmmmmm...I'll have to think about that one. Could be fun though.

Bill - Awesome, just awesome!!

Wendi - thanks for stopping by. Come back and visit often.

December - great one and one that we all need to remember

Alyssa - glad you liked them and Hey!!

Sarah said...

Great list of TT! I really enjoyed reading these. =)

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Oh, I get it. Haha.

I used to be more of a pantser, not I plot more. I think I actually balance both of them.

Anne-Marie Carroll said...

Vicki, a great list that every writer should live by. Job well done. Bill, I love your reminders. I need to tape both lists to my monitor.