Draw on the Well of Experience

Writers use life to create a total reading experience for their readers. The problem we often encounter is deciding which parts of life to include and which to leave out.
Writing Tip for Today: Here’s a partial list of important things to remember when writing from the well of experience:

  • Discern Between Believable and Boring. Connect with readers by including small details (there’s that CSD thing again) that make a reader say, “Yes! I’ve observed this too!” But if you keep going on and on with description, you’ll bore your reader. Choose details carefully.
  • Get a Laugh/Life. When you decide which details to include, take a cue from comedians. A mimic knows just which personality traits, gestures or expressions to exaggerate to make an audience recognize the person imitated. Similarly, don’t go overboard with the details–paint just enough to give readers the picture.
  • Actions Often Precede Words. When writing a scene that combines actions with words, I usually try to put the action first. For instance, a girl is visiting a horse in a pasture. She strokes the blaze on the horse’s forehead, murmuring, “You’re the best, Beauty.” If you have the girl say the words and then pat the horse it feels contrived to me. We usually act either while speaking (hard to do in dialogue) or we act first and then speak.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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