Writing: How to be Best

To all my faithful readers–I’m a bit nerve-wracked today, as tomorrow I’ll go under the knife in shoulder surgery. My circumstances are a tad unusual–I don’t have the use of my nonsurgical arm, so typing will be difficult for a few weeks while I recover.

Writing Tip for Today: Instead of my usual tips, today I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite writer sayings:

On Drafts

  • Be willing to write something awful at first, so you can polish it up in revision. –Many Writers
  • Per Anne Lamott: “First you get it down, then you fix it up.” “Write s****y first drafts.”
  • When you draft, do not try to edit. These two things come from different areas of the brain–so don’t short-circuit yourself. –Linda Clare

On Revision

  • When you revise, leave out the boring parts –Elmore Leonard
  • Be sure your scene, chapter and novel can pass the “So What?” test. If not, raise the stakes. –from Donald Maass
  • Self-editing should go from Big Picture to all the small stuff. Don’t waste your time fixing grammar if your story has structural deficits. Remember, you are your reader’s manager–you guide the reader to notice this, remember that, ignore the trivial and build up emotion toward the climax. –Linda Clare

On Making Progress

  • Good writing is like any other craft–it takes practice. Write a lot. Read a lot. Write some more.–Linda Clare
  • Let your writing ooze with emotion–for only emotion moves a reader and keeps them engaged.–Linda Clare
  • The best writing happens at the intersection of the particular and the universal. –Linda Clare

That’s all I have for you today. In the following weeks, I’ll post “classic” tips. See you on the flip side!

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.

4 comments on “Writing: How to be Best

  1. Dear Linda: Here are three things to remember.

    1. Ask any cat you know and they will tell you… “Everything will be purr-fect!
    2. In regards to recover, take it “One Day at a Time.”
    3. In regards to getting back to work, “Easy Does It!”

    After all, we don’t want you back kinda sorta okay.
    We want you back 100% ready to go.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *