On writing fiction and fantasy

One of the hobbies I dabble in occasionally is writing stories and poetry.  I used to write almost religiously when I was in college and shortly after.  In 2008, I started to trickle off due to an unpleasant life event.  Since then I occasionally return to this hobby, usually around November of each year, due to National Novel Writing Month.  I did manage to complete NaNoWriMo one year recently, but most years I fall by the way side due to time constraints.  In order to meet the minimal words per day requirement by writing every single day, I have to crank out at least 1667 words each day.  The NaNoWriMo definition of a novel is a minimum of 50,000 words, and you have 30 days to do it.  That’s how the number gets crunched.  People I’ve shared my works with have enjoyed them, mostly, but I get self conscious about my writing, and then trickle off any time I get back into it for any length of time.

The trick to writing is to “just write.”  If you have a story that’s been running around in your head, start the writing process, and let it out.  Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, and such.  Don’t worry about how tame, lame, or maimed the story seems to be as you write it.  Don’t worry about continuity or correctness.  Just write.

Once you’ve started the process, things will begin to settle themselves in your mind and on your paper or screen, and you will eventually hit an “end of the story” point.  Once you’re done, that’s when you go back and begin the editing process.  Look for obvious grammatical or spelling errors, first.  Then go back and read it for correctness and continuity.  Flesh things out, or trim them down depending on need, and get the story into a shape that is more presentable to an audience.

The more you write, the easier the writing becomes, and the less editing will be needed after a work is complete.  I’ve always been fine at the writing.  I’m not so fine on editing my own works after.  That story I successfully completed for NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago is still collecting proverbial dust waiting to be edited.  I might blow that dust off, and start the process soon.  It would probably be good for my soul.

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