Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Basic Tips to Organize Your Writing by Diana Flegal

When in the midst of spring cleaning, I realized many of the rules I worked by, applied to the writing life. Here are 5 that might be helpful to you.

While deep in our storage closet, empty boxes kept falling on me. While they were good boxes, and had served me well in the past, they were now in the way.

I kept two solid ones, and placed the rest in the recycle bin.

  1. Many sentences in your draft are repetitive. Tighten your writing by eliminating excess words. Click to tweet

In an attempt to organize, I came across a few items I was sentimentally attached to. Yes, they were special. BUT, they were also taking up valuable real-estate, making it difficult to reach the items I did occasionally need. Like the picnic cooler.

I placed them in the garage sale pile.

  1. Like Stephen King says in his book, Stephen King: On Writing, you have to kill the little darlings. Get rid of the sentences that are pretty but do not move the plot along. Click to tweet.

I found a shopping bag filled with spare electronic cords and remotes. Chances are I would never reunite them with their partners. Many looked as if they belonged in a tech Museum.

I decided to donate them to the Goodwill for their electronic department. Maybe some senior citizen could use that VCR remote.

  1. Are you using outdated rules in your writing? How many open doors are there for Literary Style? Be sure you are writing marketable material if you’d like to sell your words. Click to tweet

One item I came across looked like a collectable. Was it worth something? A friend of mine sells items online she finds at estate sales and thrift shops.  I decided to give her a call. Sure enough, it was similar to several already posted.

I’ll clean that up and she will post it for me. It should be worth a couple cups of coffee or a meal out with a friend.

  1. When you are not sure if that additional plot line is valuable, ask an expert. Tweet this. Google for a blog on the subject in question, or private FB that editor friend you made a few years back at a conference. (Do not abuse a friendship, but an occasional question is fine.)

Choosing to organize an outdoor storage unit in the midst of a national heat wave had me sweating up a storm, or as they say in the south, ‘glowing’.

I found it helpful to slip inside where the air-conditioning and some sweet ice tea gave me a much needed break while I planned my reward- a night out on the town with a friend. In Asheville, a special treat.

  1. Walk away periodically from your writing and take an artist date. Click to tweet. You will return to your WIP refreshed and inspired.

It feels good to look at our organized space. And it is much easier to access what we need.

Following these basic writing tips, will result in a much more appealing manuscript, and enjoyable read. Do the work, enjoy the reward!       


Wendy L. Macdonald said...

Good analogy, great advice. Thank you, Diana.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

Caroline said...

I loved it all (except I still hate to give up the darlings! LOL Great advice.