The Art of Writing

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The Art of Writing

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:56 am

Yikes! I have ended the past two nights in a row the same way: Helping an aspiring creator with their work. No, that's not what made me go Yikes! The problem is that both times, it was after hours of working and then right before bed I've gone and checked Google+ pages - (planning on only spending a few minutes), and then ran across someone with hopes and dreams (The first night it was someone with a board game Kickstarter project, the other with a person' short story) and spent literally several hours on each, helping them improve their projects. I don't have the time or energy to do that very often and I had neither these past two nights!

I love helping people, but the reason I stopped working both times was because it was late and I was tired. Here it is almost 3:00 in the morning and I just finished helping edit a gal's story for her—for free (I was trying to be helpful as I said). I was happy to help, but it means I get up late the next day, which cuts into my writing and editing time, and frankly, my schedule is too tight to do this sort of thing right now.

So, I will have to be very careful in the future! In each case, I found tons of ways to really improve the person's work - see, it's easier for a stranger to catch mistakes and I also have quite a bit of background in both game design and writing, even though I haven't pursued publication), so I didn't feel right to just ignore mistakes I found when I could be a blessing.

Anyway, writing is definitely a tricky thing and I've learned a lot this year alone. That's encouraging to me, but as with reading the Bible and getting to know God personally, the more you look into something, sometimes the more you realize you still have much to learn!
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Re: The Art of Writing

Unread postby warp9 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:23 pm

Hopefully you will find enough time to continue with your own writing. I hope to see a copy of your book (pdf form anyway) soon enough. ;)
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Re: The Art of Writing

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:42 pm

Thanks for asking my friend. I've been really slammed with family matters this week, but am back in the swing of things and have been writing all afternoon and will be writing like a mad man all weekend. If all goes well, I'll be writing a ton next week as well! I'm having to revise my outline for my latest story. While I've got a really killer story in the works and lots written on it, that's part of the problem. It's getting to be novella length — too ambitious for what I need. Too many really cool things going on. They are all interconnected and I'm really liking it. I might even split the story up into 2 parts, but only if I can think of a good way of doing it so that each part can stand on its own.

Right now, I'm revisiting the outline and seeing how I can alter the story to make it the proper length for what I'm trying to accomplish. I have high expectations for it and would prefer to do it as a single story, not a two-parter. I've already got my Voices story, which is a 3-parter, so I'd prefer this one in a tidy package.

So, I'm going to do a lot of hacking over the weekend and see if I can tame this beast into a less complex story that's still a blast to read (at least I'm hoping it will be!) So, more reviewing/modifying of the outline and then back to writing! I'm many drafts away from finishing The Train Less Traveled, but I think it will all be worth it!

Thanks for asking and have a great weekend my friend!
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Re: The Art of Writing

Unread postby warp9 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:34 am

but am back in the swing of things and have been writing all afternoon and will be writing like a mad man all weekend.

That is good to hear. :D

It sounds like progress is being made.
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Re: The Art of Writing

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:58 am

Yes, most definitely. My family needed my help for several days with two big projects, but that's behind me now. I never stopped writing, but it did cut into my time pretty heavily during that. I work on the book 7 days a week. Gotta get this thing done and onto the next!

Writing is so different from many other activities. It is more like art and acting in some ways. It can always be improved and it isn't always immediately obvious when you're done or if you are doing something wrong. When you change the oil on a car, build a house, etc. you' know when you're done. But when you write, you have to decide when the work is right, get advice, show it to an editor, etc.

You could revise the same story forever. At some point you have to find peace with it and stop. Some writers toil for years over their work and never really feel finished, so their novel never goes anywhere and eventually they give up and move on in life. That's never going to happen to me, but I have languished for a time over certain bits on different stories, wanting them just right.

I can't express how helpful a solid outline is. You just have to recognize that there are times when it needs to be revised, do so and move on.
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Re: The Art of Writing

Unread postby warp9 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:37 pm

Bob Whitely wrote:Writing is so different from many other activities. It is more like art and acting in some ways. It can always be improved and it isn't always immediately obvious when you're done or if you are doing something wrong.

Very true; that is a bit like creating software---you can always make it do more stuff. It is hard to draw the line sometimes.


Bob Whitely wrote:When you change the oil on a car, build a house, etc. you' know when you're done.

Yes, it is pretty sad if you are changing the oil, but are not sure if you're done or not. :lol:
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Re: The Art of Writing

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:39 pm

warp9 wrote:Yes, it is pretty sad if you are changing the oil, but are not sure if you're done or not. :lol:


Thankfully that has never happened to me. I may not be very mechanically inclined, but I've never had any trouble changing the oil on my car. Rather, I haven't changed the oil on a car since I was in my early 20's with my '68 camero. Ah, I miss that old car sometimes!
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