Monday, May 30, 2011

Three Writing Secrets

There are many writing rules. One rule is, "Never start a sentence with 'there.'" 
Okay, I just broke that rule.
But if you want to know my three inviolable rules, they're pretty simple.
And tough. 

Writers can learn from the ladybug. She’s no bigger than a polka-dot, but she keeps going even if the wind is blowing like crazy.

She's determined, disciplined, and focused.
She might not have lunch with the girls. She might poke around on her flower.
Because you never know when something wonderful might happen.

Writers can also learn from weeds.

A weed is persistent…

and it isn’t deterred by an inhospitable environment.

Nature shows us three writing secrets:  
  1. Determination.
  2. Discipline.
  3. Focus
To be sure, if you want to write a novel, it’s a good idea to learn storytelling skills (plot, character, dialogue, viewpoint, etc), but it’s even more critical to understand the foundation beneath the foundation. A novel’s structure holds a book together; but what holds the writer together? 
She needs roots, or she's gone baby, gone.

 Because sooner or later, the writer will hit a snag. This usually happens at the one-third mark in a novel--I call it the sticky, I’m-Starting-Over syndrome. It can happen to a poem, short story, painting, or a blog post. It strikes without warning, leaving you with I-Hate-This-itis. Your internal gardener will demand justice. "Yank it up!" 

Craft is like Queen Anne's Lace--resilient, upright, attractive. Roots give the plant a strong foundation. And you, the courageous ladybug, will keep going.