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Young Writers Society
5 Tips For Before You Write
Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:34 am
It is difficult to stress just how important reading is to writing. While the link seems obvious, too many either forget or fail to realize the full extent of the importance of reading. Every day, you should make the effort to read for at least an hour if you plan on becoming a writer. From reading, you can pick up different writing styles, see how an author weaves together disparate elements into a plot, and learn how to write realistic dialogue.
A lethargic body leads to a lethargic mind. You don't need to go running or do sports; all you need to do is to go for walks, do some gardening, or even just relax in the sunlight. Some of the best stories ever written had their origins on a trail.
Keep a journal, and write in it as often as possible, if not every single day. Writing about something as simple as your day keeps your mind sharp, and will improve your overall writing skills. Nowadays, a lot of people keep blogs, but a blog does not make up for a journal. Typing away on a keyboard is no substitute for paper and pen.
In addition to keeping a journal, keep a small notepad on you to jot down ideas as they come to you. Frequently, one will come with an idea, only to forget it an hour later. It doesn't matter if your idea is good or not, the purpose here is just to simply come up with them.
By this I mean, study other people. Study how we talk, walk, and interact with others. One of the best things you can do is to go to a park or a mall or some other public gathering place, and just sit there. While you're there, bring a book or a journal along with you, but take the time to watch others.
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:54 pm
Yay! All WUNderful advice, Nate! As for myself, I've managed to combine both journal and brainstorming into one delicious thing: my commonplace book. I got the name from Snicket's "Unfortunate Events" books, and it acts as journal, sketchpad, quote book, logbook, and a place to scribble many first drafts for scenes. I always get them from Barns and Noble (they need to be able to last and travel with me--quality important) and always make them small enough to fit into a moderately sized purse or large pocket.
Thanks again so much, Nate! (can I just skip the exersicing one?
bird is lazy...)
"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function...We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." ~C.S. Lewis
Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:38 pm
I 'gree with all these except the journal one. I write nearly everyday, but it's my stories, not a journal/diary. I tried that once, and it was a disaster.
"TV makes sense. It has logic, structure, rules, and likeable leading men. In life, we have this."
Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:45 pm
Everyone tells me I need to write down my plot and stuff but I've kept all my ideas in my head. They somehow make more sense that way. Uh, I don't keep a journal or exersise or anything.
I guess I'm kinda breaking all the rules then. I brianstorm almost everytime I just sit in my room listening to music. I like to think I know where my story's going but sometimes unexpected things happen. So...
Thanx for the help Nate!
I used to rule the world, see it rise when I gave the word, now in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own
-Coldplay, Viva La Viva
Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:30 pm
I do nearly all of these, I think, except the journal one. I simply detest keeping a journal/diary, whatever you want to call it.
There's always been a lot of tension between Lois and me, and it's not so much that I want to kill her, it's just, I want her to not be alive anymore.
Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:03 pm
^same. I keep a notebook for snippets and ideas or first drafts of short stories; book lists and contest themes have snuck in there as well. Writing about my day-to-day life will yeild nothing but wasted time, since my life is boring
I LOVE the first one, though. A lot of things about writing can be learned by emulation, absorption, and just plain paying attention when you read. So thank you. =]
Just call me B.
Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:27 pm
Thank you for this article!I love it.
"Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise."
Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:17 pm
I do all of this its fun to write my ideas in a notebook/journal. Especially if you leave it and come back like a week later and look at what you wrote prior to this moment
Die Heilung ist der härteste Teil jeder Tragödie
Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:56 am
Thuis has helped me alot!!! Got a wordless book on my bookshelf i think i'll be keeping my journal. And a trip down to library is due - read read read!!!
When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool, you end up looking like a moron instead.
— Robin Hobb
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